Preparing teachers for the classrooms

Aug 6, 2012

There's a great struggle underway in education about teachers, questioning the way they are trained to be placed in front of a classroom of kids.

It's a routine event at school boards to complain that the teachers just aren't doing their jobs and that kids aren't learning because the teachers just aren't good enough.

Buffalo State College Dean of Education Wendy Paterson said it's not nearly that simple, pointing out the best single predictor of how well kids will do is the education of their parents.

Across the country, there is a push on to change the way teachers are trained, from who goes into the talent pool to become a teacher to how many hours student teachers spend in a classroom in front of younger students.

Paterson said New York State does better than most.

"To be an effective teacher, you have to be well-trained.  That's the part that we are dedicated to here in the colleges. You also have to have had experiences with excellent teachers. There's a craftsmanship to it.  You have to have been a journeyman for a while.  You have to have been in schools with teachers who do things right," said Paterson.