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Gladwell on evaluating competence, and teaching

2008-12-09 14:40:47.157939+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

Malcolm Gladwell's Most Likely To Succeed article in The New Yorker:

A group of researchers—Thomas J. Kane, an economist at Harvard’s school of education; Douglas Staiger, an economist at Dartmouth; and Robert Gordon, a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress—have investigated whether it helps to have a teacher who has earned a teaching certification or a master’s degree. Both are expensive, time-consuming credentials that almost every district expects teachers to acquire; neither makes a difference in the classroom. Test scores, graduate degrees, and certifications—as much as they appear related to teaching prowess—turn out to be about as useful in predicting success as having a quarterback throw footballs into a bunch of garbage cans.

I got there via Danger West's commentary on what this means for how we should credential teachers, to which I can only respond "Yeah". Out here in California, I think every pretense that the credentialing process is for anything other than job security and income for higher education has been lost. Back when Catherine was looking at getting a California teaching certificate, despite having taught in several other states, the local university made it very clear that a California certificate wasn't about additional information, it was a simple multi thousand dollar shakedown.

[ related topics: Children and growing up California Culture Education Economics ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-09 15:33:25.039886+00 by: meuon

"...it was a simple multi thousand dollar shakedown. " - Sounds like most of traditional educational systems.