How would you change teacher preparation programs?

As I was reading through my Google Reader last week, I came across Josh Stumpenhorst‘s newest post. In his opinion, we need to go back to square one in order to ‘fix’ public education and start changing teacher education programs. There were some great comments (Jeff L. and I’s among others) – more proof that making connections and developing your PLN help you think outside the box and grow as an educator.

I didn’t take the standard path to becoming certified…I actually never thought I would become a teacher. I was offered a job teaching HS French and completed PACE in South Carolina over the course of 3 years. It was on the job training with coursework throughout. One could argue that it was better or worse than the traditional route.

No matter how you came to teaching, how did you learn to become a connected educator? Many of us probably explored by ourselves, others might have been introduced by a colleague and a few might be connected for the first time through COETAIL. Nothing from PACE ever talked about Twitter or blogging. My husband (who went through the teacher prep program at our college) never took a course introducing him to the wide world of #edchat (granted he graduated in 2007).

If teacher preparation is in need of a change, why not incorporate a class on being a connected educator while we’re at it? If every teacher college, university and alternative certification program required students to take a course that taught them how to create their PLN, blog for reflection, and more – imagine what kind of teachers we’d see come into the profession in the next 5 years! So Jeff…when are you going to start offering COETAIL Course 1 for pre-service teachers? Get a few major universities on board and maybe it would catch on. 😉

Update: Just found this great article on Twitter via ISTEConnects written by Katrina Schwartz. The research (done by Project Tomorrow) is quite interesting…go check it out!

2 comments

  1. Aja Niedorf · February 18, 2013

    Love this- in such a world, we do indeed need a class about this! What I would focus on as a first step is how to teach digital citizenship and proper usage to the kids. This would bring in the definitions and programs as they become important to the student (teacher in training). In my own education, we did have an ‘Educational Tech’ course that taught us to use basic programs such as PowerPoint, a note taking/idea web program and…I think that was it. That’s what I remember at any rate.
    As I find as we are moving forward as teachers, the concepts of how to best teach proper usage are usually the first lesson that an educator needs to learn for themselves.
    What other things are we missing?

    Like

    • Lissa Layman · February 27, 2013

      Aja – I agree that teachers need to know how to teach proper usage but I think it’s incredibly important that teachers themselves KNOW proper usage…it’s hard to teach something that you don’t practice. Pre-service teachers should be learning so much more than how to use programs!

      Like

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