The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the Harvard Graduate School of Education $500,000 to support a new teacher-training program aimed at attracting recent college graduates with a firm grasp of subject-matter knowledge.
The five-year grant will provide partial funding for the project, known as the Teacher and Curriculum Program. The foundation has made similar grants of $500,000 each to Teachers’ College at Columbia University, Stanford University, and Cornell University, also with the goal of attracting talented undergraduate liberal-arts majors into the public schools.
“Few will deny that the teaching profession faces tumultuous times,” said Patricia Albjerg Graham, dean of the Harvard graduate school. ''Increasing entry-level teacher shortages, growing rates of retirement among seasoned teachers, a decline in both quality and quantity of new teacher are symptoms of the problems plaguing public education. We, who are in the business of training future educators, must devise new ways of attracting and keeping better teachers.”
The new program begins in September and will concentrate on integrating pedagogical strategies with subject-matter expertise. “We need to teach prospective teachers the difference between knowing a subject and knowing how to explain its basic concepts to someone else,” said Katherine Merseth, lecturer on education and director of the program, which will also include an internship-year component.
A version of this article appeared in the April 16, 1986 edition of Education Week