Now we have heard all the usual jargon and rhetoric about how we can make our schools great. But no matter what any of our schools and its administrators do, nothing seems to really impact a lasting change in our American Schools. We heard all the tra- la- las about better buildings, more effective and better books and curriculum. But no matter what our educators put into our schools, nothing seems to make a real lasting difference.
Why is that? We all ask why we are spending so much money on making our schools better and yet nothing changes. Nothing really lasting at all. Yet in education for the past 30 years, one thing has been overlooked and been unnoticed. What about changing our schools by the way we train our teachers?
Oh, attempts have been made: longer student teacher training in Louisiana, for example. There have also been suggestions that new teachers in training take an extra year of study before becoming certified. Yet this seems to be only “a surface repaving” of our teacher training method.
What about a novel approach? What about starting with people who are already knowledgeable in a particular field before they even become teachers? No, this does not mean just majoring in a particular subject. This means hiring people who have considerable experience, skill, and passion in their subjects of study and research. Why not hire people who are writers, biologists, historians, engineers, and musicians, for example.
This means education dept. in our various universities choosing application for teacher training who already excel in various fields and above all, who are really passionate about sharing their knowledge in their fields with students. Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana has already made this suggestion to Indiana teaching institutions. .
Many of the teaching associations are alarmed by this suggestion of having experts who are passionate teach and even not be required by the I.D. O. E. (Indiana Department of Education). Just think! Knowledgeable teachers, passionate experts in all the different subjects teaching our children. What a scandal. What a joy! This would mean that redundancy in education would actually start to diminish. Students would catch the passion from their teachers who love what they teach. No crime here. Just pure learning and pure joy.
Merit and credit would be given to those who deserve it. Tenure would be somewhat irrelevant. Students and teachers would be exploring and learning together in what is called “pure” learning. That atmosphere would become ebullient and positive. And then the students might actually become enthusiastic and want to come to school. What a novel idea! How original. How scandalous. How real. Knowledge and student based education. How simply elegant! How wonderful!