The Educational Disconnect?

Over the past few weeks I have been thinking about educational training and a perceived disconnect in education between pre-service teacher education programs and teachers on the job working in school districts.

It all started when I was attending #COLChat2Action conference, when I saw a tweet asking why College of Education professors were not in attendance getting the same “training” service teachers were recieving. After thinking for a few minutes, rarely have I run into college professor in the same training sessions as in-service teachers. I know Troy Hicks and David Coffey are two incredible professors who I have run into many times at teacher training sessions as presenters and attendees. Are they the exception to the rule?

A bit latter I was sitting by Lisa Madden, a curriculum consultant for the Genesee County Intermediate School District, who felt there was a general disconnect between schools of education and school districts. Obviously some professors work hand in hand with districts but overall entire colleges of education don’t. Lisa reflected that intermediate school districts often feel like remediation programs for schools of education, retraining teachers who learned and practiced “bad” habits.

This week I read Tom Whitby’s post: “The Two Worlds of Education“, which made me think more about this issue. Maybe there are “Three worlds of education”:  connected educators, unconnected educators and those in educational programs. As I reflect on my own educational experience, I feel that many of the practical day to day aspects of teaching were not addressed in my school of education program. I feel my program did the best they could but now I see a better path. Even if this is just a perceived disconnect, it needs to be cleared up.

Shouldn’t all of these educational worlds line up? Why aren’t university schools of education embedded into school districts? Pre-service teachers need to see the ins and outs of teaching. College professors need to stay “fresh” by being in the classroom regularly. Intermediate school districts could pool their resources with schools of education to provide the best “training”. All educators need to be on the same page since we all have the same goal: