Cracks?

This Monday I am going to NYC for a conference. It's called Learning To Teach. Before the conference, you get homework: a 145-page binder of assigned reading. I checked the agenda. Luckily, it looks like nothing conflicts with the Monday Night Football showdown between the Pats and the Jets. Whew.

Then I turned to the readings. One is an excellent survey by Steve Farkas and Ann Duffet: Cracks In The Ivory Tower.

Here is an interview with Farkas, with a link to the report itself.

They write:

But despite this pushback, most education professors appear comfortable with their approach, perhaps because they do not define their mission as training teachers for actual classrooms.

For instance, when asked to choose between two competing philosophies regarding the role of teacher educator, just 26 percent prefer that of preparing their students “to work effectively within the realities of today’s public schools”; the majority (68 percent) choose the philosophy of preparing students “to be change agents who will reshape education by bringing new ideas and approaches to the public schools” (see Figure 4).

Professors appear to be saying that it is the real world that needs to change, not them.

68%. That is a large number.

For example, according to Fandango," 68 percent of teenagers say Daniel Radcliffe's and Emma Watson's "vigorous kissing" scene (Radcliffe's wording) increases their interest in the movie."

When 68% of people want something, they often get it.

The "Cracks" part is positioned as the good news -- some evidence of changing attitudes.

But, wow. Put yourself in the position of an Ed School dean. How can you persuade tenured faculty to change your teacher prep programs -- when 68% fundamentally reject the underlying purpose of that change?