Monday, October 04, 2010

a new plan for education

One of the things any life-long learner will have noticed is that we learn so much more thoroughly when we have a direct use for what we learn. What we learn in response to a direct need for learning is learned faster and retained longer. One of the big mistakes we make in the education of teachers is to make the first years of learning theoretical, rather than practical. My proposal is this. Put more students in classrooms, not as practice teachers but as paid interns. Create a system of on-the-job training for teachers that leads to degrees and certification. This would be a way forward toward the Finnish model with one teacher and two learning specialists or aides in each classroom. Believe me, when teachers may have as many as 25-30 students to a class, they can use the help. Also, imagine an opportunity for students to explore their own lives as teachers before investing in a full 4-year degree.

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