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Future Teacher of Ohio: Education College Perpetuates "Culture of Mediocrity"

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Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 11:10 AM

One Ohio college of education is "perpetuating a culture of mediocrity in teacher education," education major and Ohio University Post columnist Matt Farmer writes.

teacher and students in front of sod schoolhouse

Marion Doss / Flickr

One Ohio college of education is "perpetuating a culture of mediocrity in teacher education," education major and Ohio University Post columnist Matt Farmer writes:

Teacher education programs suffer from a stigma that claims their major is not as difficult as others, and to some extent it is hard for me to argue that point. Colleges of education are notorious for their grade inflation, with education majors posting a significantly higher GPA than our peers in other colleges.

That is not to say student teachers don’t work hard – we do – but more often than not our time seems to be filled with completing busy work and writing reflections rather than teaching or engaging in critical discussion of best pedagogical practices. Education classes can be repetitive and monotonous, serving to disillusion rather than inspire.

[Read the full column here.]
[related_content align="right"] A 2012 Board of Regents survey of recent graduates of Ohio's colleges of education found that most graduates thought their colleges did actually prepare them to teach--which, after all, is the whole point of colleges of education.

But graduates' experiences varied by school: Graduates of private colleges tended to give their institutions higher marks than graduates of public colleges.

Ohio State University is the exception to that trend. Ohio University, where Farmer studies, is in the middle third in terms of recent graduates' ratings of their colleges of education.

And there were some areas in which colleges of education did not do a great job, the survey results showed.

Like value-added: In general, teachers didn't think their colleges did a great job of explaining how value-added, the part of Ohio's new teacher evaluation system that deals with evaluating teachers based on their students' performance, works.

And as for questions about how selective colleges of education are, the Board of Regents survey found that about half of Ohio teacher preparation programs require students to have a minimum grade point average, or GPA, to enter the program. The average minimum GPA required was a C+. Only one school (Cedarville University) required a GPA of B or higher.

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