Levine Strikes Again

I wasn’t planning on blogging about Art Levine, former President of Teachers College at Columbia University, however his latest "research" report entitled "Educating School Teachers" was just released and it is going to shake up teacher education colleges and programs just like his first report "Educating School Leaders" sucker punched educational administration programs in 2005. Some bullets from the press release relevant to this blog include:

  • most education schools are engaged in a "pursuit of irrelevance," with curriculums in disarray and faculty disconnected from classrooms and colleagues. These schools have "not kept pace with changing demographics, technology, global competition, and pressures to raise student achievement.

  • fewer than half of principals reported that education school alumni are very well or moderately well prepared to use technology in instruction (46 percent); use student performance assessment techniques (42 percent); or implement curriculum and performance standards (41 percent).

    These two bullets would lead one to believe that his report would go on to address the deficits in technology integration in teacher education programs and make recommendations for improving the application and integration of technology.  However, after reading through the full 142 page report, the word technology only comes up 9 times and several of these are repetitions of previous sentences. So, this just seems to be more lip service and no substance.

    I just had a revelation.  By nature, I am not overly critical of others but the act of blogging seems to bring out the inner critic in me.

    These arguments about the lack of training around issues of technology are similar to those that Levine made about principal preparation programs.  While I believe Levine paints Colleges of Education with a broad brush and many have challenged his research methodology, he does bring to light many points that people like Scott and I have raised – for the most part we are not adequately preparing future teachers and school leaders to function in a world of ubiquitous technology.

    I’m back. A big lightning storm just rolled through Gainesville so I shut down just in case.

    I was going to blog about data-driven decision making tonight, but Levine’s report seemed an appropriate and timely topic.  DDDM tomorrow! DMQ

    One Response to “Levine Strikes Again”

    1. I would have to agree. Our higher ed teacher prep programs need a paradigm shift. Treating these courses like you need pre-service teachers treating their own after they begin teaching should be a no-brainer.

      Require some online course work. Require presentations (by professors) of problem-based learning (PBL) materials that are laced with technology. Require the creation (by pre-service teachers) of PBLs using current events. Standards are important for instruction, but they should not be the driving force of the instructional model (i.e. test prep, worksheets, etc.). Next, the states need to step up and require student technology use within the content areas. Our students are being left out of the loop on using the technology resources appropriately and efficiently, and it is our fault. There will be a time in the near future where we will be begging for immigrants from India and elsewhere because their countries get it. We will need them to help keep our country running technologically. Do we want to talk about national security now?

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