The complete teacher vs. what we often have instead
Ideally, we’d wish for our teachers to have a strong content knowledge base, be able to draw from extensive pedagogical knowledge, and have a deep understanding of technological knowledge that would allow for seamless integrations of technology appropriate to enhance both content and pedagogy. The complete teacher. More often:
- We encounter teachers who are wildly knowledgeable about their content area, but who lack desired pedagogical skills.
- Or we may find teachers who can implement strategies in the classroom and who have developed rapport and meaningful relationships with their students, but who lack the desired depth of content knowledge.
- Or we discover “techy” teachers who have an affinity for the latest tools and gadgets, who are networked in their own learning, but who can’t translate those skills to meaningful learning for their students because their knowledge of content and pedagogy are underdeveloped.
So we start pondering teacher qualifications, teacher preparation programs, teacher evaluation systems. We revisit Danielson and Marzano and Stronge. What are we asking new teachers to know and be able to do? Are their internship/student teaching experiences supporting their endeavors, or holding them back if they are placed in schools where “traditional” learning models are expected and enforced?