by Julie Dodd
JEA Mentoring Committee co-chair

What should a teacher education program be?

All of us who are involved in the JEA Mentoring Program — committee members, mentors and mentees — should have opinions about teacher training.

I’d imagine that most of us could list aspects of our own training  — whether that training was three months ago or 30 years ago — that was effective and aspects that weren’t a good use of time.

So what if we now had the opportunity to redesign or at least modify teacher education programs. What would we recommend?

That question came to mind as I read “Ed Schools’ Pedagogical Puzzle” in The New York Times Education Life section, July 24.

Before I share any of my opinions, I’m interested in your views.

If you could design the teacher education program for secondary education teachers, what should the program include?

Ground rules: The program focuses on the education courses — pedagogical instruction. Also let’s say that the cohort of students are going to be journalism teachers. Don’t get caught up in your own state’s certification requirements for secondary education teachers.

What courses should the teachers-in-training take? What activities, materials and projects would be included? How much time should they spend in schools — and would that be in observation or practice teaching?

You may or may not want to read the NYT article before considering your own teacher preparation curriculum.

Please email me your views about the design of a teacher education program — 2jdodd (at) gmail (dot) com

I’ll compile the recommendations and share them in the blog.