"FOR the past two months, I have been immersed in the new proposed rules for teacher education and licensing from the Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett.
The Rules for Educator Preparation and Accountability represent significant changes to teacher preparation and the licensing of teachers and administrators.
Bennett has said teachers need to know more content. He further implies that if teachers know more content and/or know it better, then students will perform better in school, at least on standardized tests.
Here are a few of my reflections on that premise:
- First, there is no question that teachers must know and understand content well. They must be able to explain concepts and issues to students from a variety of perspectives and must be able to assist each, individual student with her/his understanding.
- Yet, I remind myself about the rapidity with which content/knowledge is changing. It will not be enough for any teacher to know only his/ her content well. It will be equally important that each teacher knows how to learn, where to find new information and how to analyze critically new information, in a way to share it with students, and be able to instill those skills in students.
- Also, it is vital that each teacher knows how individual kids learn, what gets them excited about learning and how to channel their energy and excitement productively into understanding and being able to use new information.
- A final point is that each teacher needs to have the skills to work with students in our rapidly changing classrooms.
Jill Shedd is president of Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. Board. Comment on REPA Read this commentary in its entirety here.