This radical solution I am proposing received a new impetus when I was looking around other education weblogs and came across this post at Right Wing Nation. The good prof unearthed samples of course offerings at an ed school in Indiana that are geared more to political indoctration in a particular ideology than to turning out effective, knowledgeable teachers. Theses examples could be replicated countless times at other ed schools.
Here is what ed majors can choose from:
E 305 Infusion of Technology (3 cr.) B One of the goals for the Democracy, Diversity, and Social Justice Program is to infuse the study, use, and teaching about technology throughout the entire program. Rather than being a tool that preservice teachers learn about, technology will be studied as a subject and a means to expand research opportunities, stimulate and enhance models of inquiry, and broaden teaching abilities.What on earth does technology have to do with Democracy, Diversity, and Social Justice?
E 320 Envisioning, Exploring, and Creating Our Social Worlds Through Multiple Literacies in the Elementary School (9 cr.) B This interdisciplinary course explores the social studies as ways of knowing about our world; the language arts and language learning theory; aesthetics and the arts; and the multiple roles of the teacher as facilitator of learning, social researcher, and curriculum creator. A field experience is included.Here we have another example of the corruption of language. Literacy is now literacies and can mean anything under the sky. How about concentrating on turning out fluent readers and writers who can put together coherent, articulate and error-free sentences and paragraphs?
E 322 Diversity and Social Justice I (3 cr.) B Students will develop curricula for social studies, language arts, aesthetics, and the arts that responds to multicultural and disability concerns. Curriculum planning and teaching strategies will attend to issues of student diversity in home and community contexts and school settings.In all this responding to multicultural and disability concerns the concern for what these students should know is lost. Are these multiculturals really from another planet that makes them unsuitable for a core, agreed-upon curriculum good for non-multiculturals?
E 326 Diversity and Social Justice II (3 cr.) Students will develop curriculum for mathematics and science that responds to multicultural and disability concerns. Curriculum planning and teaching strategies will attend to issues of student diversity in home and community contexts and school settings.
E 324 Teaching Mathematics and Science for All Students (9 cr.) This course prepares prospective elementary school teachers to teach mathematics and science in an integrated, discovery-based environment. A major goal of this course is to promote student familiarity with the conceptual understanding and skills necessary for teaching in a manner that promotes the inclusion of all pupils. Constructivism, the History and Philosophy of Science, and Technology and Society comprise three strands that further the aim of democratic teaching as applied to mathematics and science.I'll bet the "democratic" discovery-based environment excludes a lot of students who need special attention and explicit instruction.