Wednesday, April 06, 2005

An Apology: The Two Dogs Way

Dammit, I can't believe how tired I am all the time.

Here is your engraved apology for all that I have said about the state of education. I made the comment that women's studies, minority studies, English, history, etal are stupid things in which to get a degree. It seems that some people took offense. I shall qualify that statement and beg for forgiveness in this thread.

You see, these topics by themselves are not irrelevant but they are not something to actually go to college to learn. You just don't need a degree in English to actually teach an English class. Lawyers, god forbid, make fine English instructors. Mechanical engineers make fine history professors. For that matter, I guess that a doctor could do a pretty good job at teaching about women's studies.

My point on this debate is this, if you are going to attend a university, spend countless dollars on an education, at least take the time to receive a degree that would allow you to pay for your education. Spending fifty thousand dollars on a degree that allows you to get a job making thirty thousand dollars a year is just flat out stupid. People that would do this would probably come up with a great governmental program like social security.

In a nutshell, I am a voracious reader, an amateur history buff, use English all the time, really enjoy hanging out with women, and work for a minority owned company. If you think that I railed on these particular topics because I am hiding some underlying meaning there, I am sorry, but you probably have a degree in women's studies.

Anyway, I just realized there is no apology there, I guess there doesn't need to be one.

.

6 comments:

Erik Grow said...

You are making it sound like the fact that we speak English makes us qualified to be English teachers. Absolutely not! In order to teach someone else anything, you must know it absolutely cold. Speaking English alone does not prepare you to be an English teacher. You need to know all of the find points of grammar. You need to be familiar with the great authors, styles, and many individual works of literature. It sounds like you are saying that anyone can teach anything without even really knowing the material, and this is the kind of thinking that leads people to believe that anyone can be a good teacher, and that therefore they should be paid a very low salary.

My BA and MS degrees are in psychology, and I am not currently in the field. I spent over 30K for that education, which I finished in '97, but it was very much worth it. Why? Not because of the individual facts that I learned, but because it taught me HOW TO THINK CRITICALLY, in all kinds of situations, and that is more valuable than anything else I know, because I can take it with me to every job, and each new skill that I learn. College is so much more than your actual degree.

Two Dogs said...

Well, just out of curiosity, when am I going to see evidence of that critical thinking regarding teaching English? Erik, teachers today do not received degrees in specialized fields, the moderates did away with that. Something about not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings or self esteem. To teach, one simply needs an EDUCATION degree and most states have yet to go back to requiring testing (besides a very cursory one) to become a teacher.

Anyway, thanks for playing, Jedi Knight.

Imara said...

Two Dogs, I got a little chocked up when I started to read this post. I was moved by your humility, and touched that you would actually apologize... then I got to the end, and realized... you just can't do it! LOL!!!

Erik Grow said...

Two Dogs, you may find the link at the bottom helpful to see what the requirements are in all 50 states. I think you might be surprised at what you find. I glanced at a handful of states, and they looked pretty solid to me. Lots of requirements with exams, student teaching, the usual stuff. Your comments about not needing a specialized degree are I believe unfounded, though I have far from looked at all 50 states yet. Since certification is by state, why don't you use this link and find me a couple states that you think are *inadequate*. Since you assert that being an educator is so simple now, you shouldn't have to take much time or look at many states before you see a couple of examples where trained chimps are allowed to teach, right? *;-) If you find one that is truly lax, I would be happy to agree with you, but when you start making sweeping generalizations about public schools, expect me to ask you to back it up with at least a small amount of evidence.

http://www.uky.edu/Education/TEP/usacert.html

Two Dogs said...

Erik, the requirements vary from state to state, but all are general teaching skills tests. Here is New York: Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written (ATS-W)
Required for Provisional or Initial certificate in most titles.
Offered in two versions: elementary and secondary. Candidates for K-12 certificates may elect either version.)
Covers knowledge of the learner, instructional planning and assessment, instructional delivery, and the professional environment.
Format consists of 80 multiple-choice questions and an extended written response.

God, that just sounds so damn tough. Didn't see anything that referred to a knowledge of anything other than delivery and crap. Didn't see one that says a required degree in the subject you are teaching.

Obviously you have no kids in public school. You can always assume that there are competent teachers, but chances are you are mistaken.

I have decided to post the requirements for a degree in educations from Mississippi. Later.

Two Dogs said...

Erik, the requirements vary from state to state, but all are general teaching skills tests. Here is New York: Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written (ATS-W)
Required for Provisional or Initial certificate in most titles.
Offered in two versions: elementary and secondary. Candidates for K-12 certificates may elect either version.)
Covers knowledge of the learner, instructional planning and assessment, instructional delivery, and the professional environment.
Format consists of 80 multiple-choice questions and an extended written response.

God, that just sounds so damn tough. Didn't see anything that referred to a knowledge of anything other than delivery and crap. Didn't see one that says a required degree in the subject you are teaching.

Obviously you have no kids in public school. You can always assume that there are competent teachers, but chances are you are mistaken.

I have decided to post the requirements for a degree in educations from Mississippi. Later.

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