THE EDUCATION OF AMERICAN TEACHERS by James Bryant onant

THE EDUCATION OF AMERICAN TEACHERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Some books are exciting but largely irrelevant, others are dull yet quite important; Dr. Conant's is in the latter category. It is a book over which educators are ound to come to loggerheads; it is also a book, which despite its stuffy administrative style, many laymen are bound to read, or more likely talk about as if they had. Simply but, it attempts an authoritative overhaul of certificate programs for the preparation of elementary and secondary school teachers as they exist in most colleges and universities today. Dr. Conant found these programs- whether they be of actual course and credit specifications or the so-called approved-program approach- more or less lamentable. His survey, covering research-sampling of 16 states, also notes the campus quarrels going on between the professors of education and the professors of arts and sciences, and while he has some kind words for the former, he makes no bones about the fact that as far as academic status symbols go, the schools of education, especially the state-owned ones, are in general not gold-plated. Nor is he too happy with the politicking and propagandizing of various organizations (the NEA, NCATE, TEPS) vis-a-vis state legislation. That he wants is a sort of laissez-faire atmosphere whereby each state allows each institution its own experimental and developmental policies, leading to, it is hoped, a teacher's education in-depth- something a bit more complex and considerably more challenging than it sounds. Towards that end he offers 27 recommendations, all of which we've been sworn not to reveal prior to publication. They are sound but unsettling, and they raise just as many questions as they answer. Further, the old guard won't like them. But in our post-Sputnik era qualitative change must come; the Conant proposals are the nearest thing we have to a classroom Magna Carta.

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1963
Publisher: McGraw-Hill