Wednesday, July 6, 2011

All teachers are education majors.

And education is the belief that there is an art or science of education, and more over, that art or science is teachable. And that teachers need to be taught it.
I don't believe in the art or science of education. Any competent adult can teach effectively. I saw that in the Air Force. We would take 20 year old sergeants right off the flight line and put them into the Field Training Detachment teaching classes of teen age airmen. I went thru a number of these training sessions. These instant teachers were good, as good as any of the teachers I ever had in grade school, high school or college. The subject matter, jet engines, radar, instruments, auto pilot, hydraulics, missiles, radio, nav aids, was complex and difficult. The sergeants, who knew their subject matter cold, had no trouble teaching it, and teaching it to classes of teen aged boys. Who paid attention, took notes, and asked questions. It helped that the subject matter was interesting and relevant, all the students knew that mastery of the material was key to peer group respect and official promotion.
Given this, I think we would do better hiring teachers who majored in English, US history, mathematics, foreign languages, chemistry, physics, biology, and music rather than education majors. The secret to teaching well is a solid knowledge of your subject.

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