In all the years I've been having the discussion, I've never run across a single college education major who said her degree actually made her a better teacher. And a few very honest grads have said that they were teaching "in spite of" their degrees.
Watchers of the educational establishment know that the past two decades have done nothing kind for teachers' colleges. Most have become liberal enclaves for the nourishment of "multicultural" (read: leftist) philosophy...philosophy that has little to do with true diversity and everything to do with packing the ranks of educators with clones of the radicals of my generation.
Once in a while, someone actually tries to "out" these ivory-tower residents who've long forgotten that their mission was once to educate children in the basics. This week, surprisingly, it's the Manhattan Institute's City Journal:
Adding Up to FailureEd schools put diversity before math.
A good education requires balance. Students should learn to appreciate a variety of cultures, sure, but they also need to know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Judging from the courses that the nation’s leading education colleges offer, however, balance isn’t a goal. The schools place far more emphasis on the political and social ends of education than on the fundamentals.
To determine just how unbalanced teacher preparation is at ed schools, we counted the number of course titles and descriptions that contained the words “multiculturalism,” “diversity,” “inclusion,” and variants thereof, and then compared those with the number that used variants of the word “math.” We then computed a “multiculturalism-to-math ratio”—a rough indicator of the relative importance of social goals to academic skills in ed schools. A ratio of greater than 1 indicates a greater emphasis on multiculturalism; a ratio of less than 1 means that math courses predominate. Our survey covered the nation’s top 50 education programs as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, as well as programs at flagship state universities that weren’t among the top 50—a total of 71 education schools.
The average ed school, we found, has a multiculturalism-to-math ratio of 1.82, meaning that it offers 82 percent more courses featuring social goals than featuring math. At Harvard and Stanford, the ratio is about 2: almost twice as many courses are social as mathematical. At the University of Minnesota, the ratio is higher than 12. And at UCLA, a whopping 47 course titles and descriptions contain the word “multiculturalism” or “diversity,” while only three contain the word “math,” giving it a ratio of almost 16.
Read the rest of the article and weep.
And then if you're not teaching your children at home, find someone to teach them that is either older than fifty or who earned a degree other than in education.
Preferably an actual academic subject.
hat tip: The Papa