Devaluing the Importance of Pedagogical Expertise– A Dangersous Policy Trend
Since writing my November 3rd post about proposed changes to Indiana’s educator preparation programs,I haven’t stopped thinking about what I see as the beginning of a policy trend in devaluing the importance of classroom teachers’ pedagogical expertise. Perhaps beginning with the No Child Left Behind Act and its surrounding rhetoric, increased emphasis has been placed on teachers’ content knowledge or lack of it. I contend that this renewed emphasis is extremely important. I have worked with and observed far too many teachers over my career whose grasp of their courses’ academic content was severely lacking. This is extremely problematic. If a geometry teacher doesn’t have a solid grasp of geometry, the odds of her student coming away from that course understanding geometry are slim to ridiculous. So again, I whole-heartedly support policy initiatives to make sure teachers have the required content knowledge to teach.