How other countries develop their teachers

April 19, 2011 at 8:18 am 5 comments

Wow.  This blog post from Linda Darling-Hammond really paints an amazing picture.  Could you imagine doing this in the United States?  Can you imagine how much higher-quality our education would be, if we developed and paid teachers like we do doctors (which is how I read the below)?  Imagine telling future high school CS teachers that they have to get the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in CS to teach before starting their teaching preparation — but they’ll be paid as well as a CS undergraduate entering industry.  That could make a difference!  It’s certainly an issue for our Operation: Reboot teachers, to have the same skills that they had as IT workers, but now receiving a teacher’s salary.

The contrasts to the American attitude toward teachers and teaching could not have been more stark. Officials from countries like Finland and Singapore described how they have built a high-performing teaching profession by enabling all of their teachers to enter high-quality preparation programs, generally at the masters’ degree level, where they receive a salary while they prepare. There they learn research-based teaching strategies and train with experts in model schools attached to their universities. They enter a well-paid profession – in Singapore earning as much as beginning doctors — where they are supported by mentor teachers and have 15 or more hours a week to work and learn together – engaging in shared planning, action research, lesson study, and observations in each other’s classrooms. And they work in schools that are equitably funded and well-resourced with the latest technology and materials.

In Singapore, based on their talents and interests, many teachers are encouraged to pursue career ladders to become master teachers, curriculum specialists, and principals, expanding their opportunities and their earnings with still more training paid for by the government. Teacher union members in these countries talked about how they work closely with their governments to further enrich teachers’ and school leaders’ learning opportunities and to strengthen their skills.

via Darling-Hammond: U.S. vs highest-achieving nations in education – The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post.

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Show Me The Code Intercultural Computer Science Education

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alfred Thompson  |  April 19, 2011 at 11:18 am

    In many ways this is a frustrating time to be in education in the US. The focus of many seems to be on reducing cost of education rather than improving quality of education. To make it worse many seem to have decided that a) the quality of teaching is too low and thta b) the answer to that is to reduce the incentive of good people to go into teaching. Oh I am sure that is not how many would phrase it but it is hard to see how decreasing pay and increasing paperwork, overhead and stress by pushing for metrics (standardized tests scores) that we know are not reliable will do anything to encourage better/smarter people to go into education.
    The only way we are going to move this country forward is by improving the quality of education and that means improving the quality of teachers. Both cost money and there is revenure out there that is being untapped but our elected officials lack the will to get it.
    Full disclosure: My wife, son and daughter in law work in public education.

  • 2. Garth  |  April 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Give people local tax control and base salaries off of local taxes and you get the US education system we have today. Most citizens simply do not have the long range planning skills to see that everything is based off of the education the kids get. From a little research I believe the US is the only education system funded by local taxes. Europe and most (if not all) Asian countries are federally funded systems so fluctuations in the local economy do not affect education funding. In my area if a mill levy does not pass teachers get laid off, computers are not bought, school roofs continue to leak but the voters have saved $20 a year in taxes. But the world WILL come to an end if the communities were to give up local control of school funding.

    • 3. gasstationwithoutpumps  |  April 21, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      Nope, that doesn’t explain California, which has non-local funding (state collects all taxes and doles them back out to school districts, counties, and cities). They have manged through this non-local system to nearly destroy education in California.

      The problem is not local versus central control—it is a complete lack of respect for education in US government.

  • […] How other countries develop their teachers ( […]

  • […] though it’s interesting to see that somebody did the work to provide evidence.  When I see what other countries do to improve their education quality, I realize how much of the education picture has to do with culture and respect, and money […]


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