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View Diary: In my son's 11th grade science class at public school (189 comments)

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  •  hmm... (1+ / 0-)
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    annetteboardman

    that seems fishy.
    At least in the states where i know teachers, they are certified in particular areas.  You can be certified in science - one year you might teach physics, next year biology, but you would never be allowed to teach outside your certification area.  You have to prove some level of education and competency to be certified in multiple fields.

    Which in the case of the example of the diary, it could very well be that this teacher is an expert in physics, but physiology is their weak science and they require a lot of additional prep time for it.  Perhaps the question should be whether the teachers have the resources they need to do the best job.

    •  Not fishy (3+ / 0-)
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      neroden, Fonsia, Aquagranny911

      On paper, that is what is supposed to be done. In practice, when you have 20 to 50% of your teachers with 1 year contracts, forget about it.

      If you are older than 55, never take a sleeping pill and a laxative at the same time!

      by fredlonsdale on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 02:11:45 PM PDT

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    •  I'm from California (4+ / 0-)
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      neroden, edtastic, Aquagranny911, SoCalSal

      We have a "fifth-year" program here (or, we did. Dunno if that's still true.). That means that students have to get a Bachelor's degree before they're allowed in to the "fifth-year" of teacher education coursework.

      No such thing as "education majors."

      Elsewhere in (most of) the country, you can major in education from day one. That's your specialization.

      If you want to teach at the secondary level, normally you do specialize in a subject (although that doesn't mean that's what you'll wind up teaching). But not the elementary-level folks. Not at all.

      It's quite possible that the diary teacher has no specialization in any science. She could be relying on the textbook, which normally are riddled with errors.

      (My old friend was from South Carolina. She happily taught physics there for 20 years, after being forced into it.)

      I'm a refugee from education. What I described above is common--or it was when I left about 10 years ago, and things have deteriorated since then.

      (Would love to talk more, but I gotta run!)

      So long and thanks for all the fish--Douglas Adams

      by Fonsia on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 02:20:37 PM PDT

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    •  No fishy at all (4+ / 0-)
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      neroden, Fonsia, Aquagranny911, SoCalSal

      Sometimes teachers are interviwewing for one job and get placed into another.  Quite common in education.

      As a retired educator, this happened more than what a person would expect.

      "We in America do not have government by the majority, we have government by the majority who participate." --Thomas Jefferson

      by winter outhouse on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 02:26:27 PM PDT

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    •  Oh God, in NYS it is all true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fonsia

      You can get an education major, know nothing about a dozen subjects, and be assigned to teach all of them ("provisionally", I believe, but that can continue for years and years and years).  It's disturbingly common.  

      Subject qualification exams are weak and problematic so even when teachers pass them it doesn't necessarily mean they know the subject.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 06:32:59 PM PDT

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