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"Nation's easiest college major" (a s/o of sorts)


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From MoneyWatch (June 20, 2011):

 

Slackers wanting to earn the country's easiest college major, should major in education.

 

It's easy to get "A's" if you're an education major. Maybe that's why one out of 10 college graduates major in education.

 

Research over the years has indicated that education majors, who enter college with the lowest average SAT scores, leave with the highest grades. Some of academic evidence documenting easy A's for future teachers goes back more than 50 years!

 

The latest ****ing report on the ease of majoring in education comes from research at the University of Missouri, my alma mater. The study, conducted by economist Cory Koedel shows that education majors receive "substantially higher" grades than students in every other department.

 

______________________

Huh. And I always thought communications was the easiest major. Heh, heh, heh.

 

 

B.A. in communications (journalism)

M.A. in English (rhetoric and composition)

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My mom and I have a back and forth disagreement on education degrees.

 

My point is: why would anyone that much for a degree for a profession where they will make less money than my degreeless (but extremely intelligent) BIL who works at a gas station?

 

My mom (who works for the schools) points out that they receive a lot of time off, decent health care/retirement packages and most of their spouses have higher paying careers.

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I was in college in the late 70's early 80's. My history professors used to mock the Collegeof Education teachers. Their department was the least respected on campus, I found it quite telling that those people most invested in higher education (college faculty and staff) looked down on the "Education" majors. :001_smile: It has not gotten better since then.

 

No, I was not an Education Major. :lol:

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Years ago, I was at a star party with three friends. As we were sitting around playing with our telescopes and waiting for astronomical twilight, we started talking about the way science is taught (or not taught) in public schools.

 

Mary has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, and at the time worked for Dow Chemical as a research chemist. Her husband, Paul, also has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, and is a chemistry professor at Wake Forest University. Steve has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and is a professor at Wake Forest Bowman Gray School of medicine.

 

I thought my comment pretty much summed up the problem: "You know, not a single one of us is qualified to teach chemistry in the public schools."

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It is absolutely true and is, in my opinion, one of the biggest reasons public schools are failing. After 17 years in the education field I can tell you that only about 20% of teachers were truly above-average students.

 

I earned a master's degree in education and I never broke a sweat. Some classes I skipped entirely except for exam days because they were such a waste of time and I graduated from the University of Michigan with a 3.9 GPA.

 

It is THAT experience, however, that has contributed to my skill in hiring teachers now for my school. You have a degree? Meh. You are a certified teacher? Meh. What was your ACT score? Pass any AP tests in high school? Let me see your transcripts. I want to see what you earned in your math, science, political science classes, etc. I could not care less what you got in an education class because they are a joke.

 

You want better schools? Make an education degree the most difficult degree to earn and pay accordingly.

 

 

.

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My AA is in "interdisciplinary studies" aka education. I easily got A's, especially in all the education classes. They were a joke. The teacher would give us a study guide. We would go over it in class. And then would be allowed to use our study guide on the test. :tongue_smilie:

 

 

Still don't have my BA as I took time to be a mom, but after learning more what goes on in education I have no desire to teach other's children in a public school setting.

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Mary has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, and at the time worked for Dow Chemical as a research chemist. Her husband, Paul, also has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, and is a chemistry professor at Wake Forest University. Steve has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and is a professor at Wake Forest Bowman Gray School of medicine.

 

I thought my comment pretty much summed up the problem: "You know, not a single one of us is qualified to teach chemistry in the public schools."

 

And you know, (if I could afford it) I would hire any of those three for private tutoring, knowing my kid would get an excellent education in chemistry. Those friends of yours would probably make a lot more money from tutoring than from teaching high school anyway.

 

I could not care less what you got in an education class because they are a joke.

 

I easily got A's, especially in all the education classes. They were a joke. The teacher would give us a study guide. We would go over it in class. And then would be allowed to use our study guide on the test. :tongue_smilie:

 

So, what exactly do these "education classes" consist of? What do they teach? What did you learn?

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I currently teach Spanish part-time in a charter school and am not certified. I recently looked into lateral entry certification in my state and was dismayed to find that it would take me probably 3 years and I would have to pay for tests and classes (probably adding up to thousands of dollars!) to do what I am already doing! How does that make sense? I can teach German at any college because I have a master's degree in it, but can't teach German at a regular public high school because I am not certified.

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And that is why I laugh at the arguments that I would not be as qualified to teach my kids in elementary as a certified teacher. I had a couple of good elementary teachers, but I also had a couple that had poorer spelling and grammar than I did, as a child. :confused:

 

However, for high school I thought the general trend was to hire teachers with at least bachelor's or even master's degrees in their subjects. They would have certification for teaching but not be education majors. Maybe I'm wrong about that.

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My sister is a PS teacher (high school science), but was not an Education major. She had a double major in Psychology and Biology (and a Chemistry minor). She did get a Master's in Education because she did Teach for America and she said it was really easy. I'm not sure having Education as a major is a good idea. Maybe it would be better to require a major in a subject and have Education offered as a minor course of study instead.

Edited by LeslieAnneLevine
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I can teach German at any college because I have a master's degree in it, but can't teach German at a regular public high school because I am not certified.

 

That's interesting. Here they require 18 hrs of education classes (basically a minor in Ed.) to teach at the cc.

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I'm not surprised at all. I have friends & family members who got their B.A. recently. Most of them had very low ACT scores and needed years of remedial math and reading classes. I also know some brilliantly smart teachers. But the vast majority I knew did it because it was the easiest degree to get that would be easy-ish to find a job.

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I also had a couple that had poorer spelling and grammar than I did, as a child.

 

My SIL is a teacher. She regularly says "I seen" and uses double negatives, and her grammar and punctuation skills are abysmal.

 

My dh says not to blame her. He says she can't help that she was raised in WV. :lol:

 

Tara

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Nice that the least able students are the ones becoming teachers ...

 

Right, and all their scholastic lives, they've been told, "You're the best!" "You got an A+", "You're supersmart!" (<== ding! [lightbulb clicks] So that's where all those stickers come from! Oh, sorry back to my diatribe ..) So when students fail to learn, it must necessarily be the students' fault or their parents' fault or somebody else's fault. Because no way a teacher who's been addled to believe for years that she and everyone around her is Nobel laureate material could possibly be responsible for this mass anomaly.

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I've known this for years. My dad was a teacher and he frequently told me that his college classes were very easy, especially after he saw what was required of my major. My oldest son also tells me the statistics for education majors just to annoy his long time girlfriend who happens to be a teacher.:tongue_smilie:

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So, what exactly do these "education classes" consist of? What do they teach? What did you learn?

 

In my case one was how to deal with special needs and IDEA in the public classroom. We talked about different things very generally ADD,ADHD and how no child was left behind and every child had to have an education provided no matter their ability.

 

Another covered multiculturalism so we looked at literature and made sure we didn't just use books that featured white people. We also went over abuse and how to look for abuse, bruises and stages of bruises. We also talked about the fact that we were to be gender bias and not encourage stereotypes. Bobby is more than welcome to play with the doll and Susie can play with trucks.

 

The sad part was is people were struggling to pass these courses. :confused: I don't remember a paper in either. Multiple choice answer questions. I did have a presentation in the one on any disability I chose.

 

In addition I had to do so many hours of volunteer work in the college day care and be evaluated or I had to go into a public school/head start to get hours.

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My son says his Ed classes are ridiculous. There are women in these classes who need help with basic mathematics...like adding fractions and long division. He was shocked! He thought his Ed classes would teach him to teach. He thought they would discuss theory. He was shocked that most of the classes were basically reviewing elementary subjects in an elementary way....:confused:

Faithe...who always had an unexplainable awe for teachers and their education...and is now not feeling all that intimidated anymore.

 

Faithe

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Another one not qualified to teach...to get the alternate certification, I need to take 36 credit hours (essentially, get my MA), and put in 300-500 student teaching hours. It would cost about $20k.

 

I'll never forget walking the el-ed corridors as the el-ed majors were busily putting together their bulletin boards. I was like, there is a CLASS for THAT? When one of my suite-mates talked about having to get caught up on her homework, of course I was thinking research, read... and write papers. Well she did write... but it was filling out penmanship books like my Ker uses, trace and write.:svengo:

 

I'm sure there were very dedicated education majors, but honestly, I did feel like they were getting off easy.

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I did not take *all* my ed classes (I was briefly sp ed) but they were total jokes. My SIL jokes about her ed classes. She said it was like being back in grade school.

 

Will you be more specific (see my previous questions)?

 

In my case one was how to deal with special needs and IDEA in the public classroom. We talked about different things very generally ADD,ADHD and how no child was left behind and every child had to have an education provided no matter their ability.

 

Another covered multiculturalism so we looked at literature and made sure we didn't just use books that featured white people. We also went over abuse and how to look for abuse, bruises and stages of bruises. We also talked about the fact that we were to be gender bias and not encourage stereotypes. Bobby is more than welcome to play with the doll and Susie can play with trucks.

 

This sounds like teaching you politics rather than teaching you how to teach academic skills! Wow, I had no idea!

 

My son says his Ed classes are ridiculous. There are women in these classes who need help with basic mathematics...like adding fractions and long division. He was shocked! He thought his Ed classes would teach him to teach. He thought they would discuss theory. He was shocked that most of the classes were basically reviewing elementary subjects in an elementary way....:confused:

Faithe...who always had an unexplainable awe for teachers and their education...and is now not feeling all that intimidated anymore.

 

Yah, no kidding! I would have thought theory/teaching how to teach would be done, too!

 

Another one not qualified to teach...to get the alternate certification, I need to take 36 credit hours (essentially, get my MA), and put in 300-500 student teaching hours. It would cost about $20k.

 

I'll never forget walking the el-ed corridors as the el-ed majors were busily putting together their bulletin boards. I was like, there is a CLASS for THAT? When one of my suite-mates talked about having to get caught up on her homework, of course I was thinking research, read... and write papers. Well she did write... but it was filling out penmanship books like my Ker uses, trace and write.:svengo:

 

Wow. I really had no idea.

 

When you said "another one not qualified to teach," what goes through my mind, after reading this thread so far, is "not certified to indoctrinate."

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My sister is a teacher. She is BRILLIANT. She graduated with an undergrad in engineering from one of our military academies - in the top 25 of her class. She got a M.Ed. in science. She is a spectacular teacher - the kind that people sell their houses and move so their kids can be taught by her. I *hate* that there are so many in her profession that drag down the standards. I hate it. It makes me sick. But there are some gems out there - so don't give up on them all!

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The local college here has a program for teacher certification, and I've had many friends (also my mom) go through it. They have often complained about the course of study, which has many hoops to jump through but little rigor. From what they've told me, a teaching certificate in my state is a hassle, but it's not intellectually demanding. Which is not to say that my friends are not intelligent or good teachers, because obviously my friends are all brilliant. My mom went through the program so that she could get paid as a school librarian instead of a clerk, since a masters' degree in library science doesn't qualify you to run a school library. :glare:

 

I don't know about the 'easiest college major' though--that might be communications. :D

Edited by dangermom
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My mom and I have a back and forth disagreement on education degrees.

 

My point is: why would anyone that much for a degree for a profession where they will make less money than my degreeless (but extremely intelligent) BIL who works at a gas station?

 

My mom (who works for the schools) points out that they receive a lot of time off, decent health care/retirement packages and most of their spouses have higher paying careers.

 

One of the worst* teachers in my daughter's school (Dd17) makes 100k, pays three dollars a copay, has tenure, benefits for life, I believe, and a pension.

 

Her school's teachers are pissed because the Gov. asked them not to take a pay raise this year.

 

My Dh hasn't taken a raise in 5 years, we pay an astronomical amount for health ins, and we get no guarantee that we'll make enough to retire. Ever. We hope, but we have no pensions.

 

*Does not teach AT ALL. Pops in a movie. They watch youtube vids, he does. not. teach. And that information comes from another teacher, the best one.

Edited by justamouse
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I have a master's degree, I have taught at the university level, but I can't teach any level of public school.....not even a drama class! I did have someone question how I thought I was qualified to teach my kids. I told him my background an then I asked if he felt that he was unqualified to teach elementary math. He shut up pretty quick. :)

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Huh. I went to the wrong college if that's what the rest are like. I graduated 8th in my high school class with the highest ACT score. I worked my butt off in college for a BS in elementary education. I did not graduate at the top of that class, and I had the bruises to show for it.

 

Did you work hard though in the courses for Elementary Ed? I worked hard in my other course just not the ones for Elementary and Early Childhood. I barely passed Bio with a C, and Algebra, with a B. Loved my English classes but they were hard work too. I also have Gov't & History but they weren't too bad.

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It certainly doesn't surprise me at all. It matches what I've seen in college and elsewhere.

 

I have a Physics major and Math/Psychology minors + have been subbing in our local high school (math/science classes) since 1999. I can do long term subbing up to a certain number of days (I'm doing one now), but I can't officially teach there even though I've had more subject classes (and more rigorous ones) than most of the teachers. :glare:

 

The school district has been after me to get certified as they want me full time (or at least did before the budget cuts put a freeze on hiring), but I really don't want to jump through the hoops.

 

I might do tutoring instead of subbing at some point. The level of education at our school is really starting to wear on me.

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One of the worst teachers in my daughter's school (Dd17) makes 100k, pays three dollars a copay, has tenure, benefits for life, I believe, and a pension.

 

Her school's teachers are pissed because the Gov. asked them not to take a pay raise this year.

 

My Dh hasn't taken a raise in 5 years, we pay an astronomical amount for health ins, and we get no guarantee that we'll make enough to retire. Ever. We hope, but we have no pensions.

 

 

My dh has a degree in Rhetoric and then alternative certified for teaching. He went on to get his degree in Educational Leadership & Foundations.

 

Our insurance is a joke. If they increase the amount the provide guess houw much insurance goes up that year. We can't afford to have coverage for me and the kids.

 

Our raises the last few years have been small or nothing.

 

We do have a pension but no Social Security.

 

Last year in our state we faced cuts across the board. Thankfully he still has a position. Who knows what the future will bring education is facing more cuts in spending. One district in our state cut all of the vice principals at his level, if our district did that we would be without a job.

 

I am not complaining but sharing the other side of the story. And no we don't make $100K.

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We always used to walk by the Education Building at my college and my husband would invariably ask, "What do they do in the OTHER buildings?" har har

 

I know that ed majors at my college discussed education theory - it wasn't all Dr. Seuss and bulletin boards - but they were usually the least scholarly students in the class. "I'm an education major, so I can I do my paper on a children's book?" I heard this in several classes - once even to the head of the English department. Best withering look ever. :thumbup1:

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So, what exactly do these "education classes" consist of? What do they teach? What did you learn?

 

I attended a "good" university whose education department is considered one of the better/more rigorous programs in the country. After a lot of classes on child development we took:

 

Math for el.ed majors (a review of elementary level math where college-age girls struggle to understand the base-10 system and multiply fractions)

Diversity in the classroom (where we spent the semester reading picture books with minority characters . . . seriously)

Special-ed classes (where we learned about IDEA and all the labels our students would have - but never discussed how to teach them :001_huh:)

Art for el.ed majors (where we did an elementary-style art project once a week for the semester)

Music for el.ed majors (same as art, but we sang)

P.E. for el.ed majors (where we played a different sport each week)

Childrens Literature (the one decent class I took - literary analysis taught by an English professor who sat on the Caldecott committee)

 

After these classes were done we spent time helping and observing in actual classrooms. Then we took classes on how to teach our primary subjects:

Literacy (where we learned how to design elaborate systems for moving children through various literacy centers and were warned to NEVER teach phonics, spelling, grammar, composition, etc)

Math (where we reviewed basic math again but weren't actually taught how to teach it)

Science (where we learned about elaborate projects we could plan for the children that would be impressive to parents)

Social Studies (where we learned how all social studies should be taught through the use of multi-cultural books - requiring yet another semester of reading picture books)

 

Then we were allowed to student teach. I spent a semester with a 1st grade teacher who loved her kids, but taught them nothing. Then I spent a semester with a rogue kindergarten teacher who was teaching her kids phonics and math, but had such a temper that the children were terrified of her . . . I was terrified of her.

 

It was rare for anyone to get less than an A in a class. If you showed up and were conscious, then you were doing great. I was told by one of the professors (confidentially ;)) that I had one of the highest ACT scores they had ever had coming into their program. I wanted to be a teacher and I really believed I could make a difference. I held my tongue when professors spouted nonsense and was only really rattled by my fellow students when I saw what they couldn't do mathematically (scary, scary stuff). Once I got out of school, though, it was eye-opening. I knew some teachers that were very intelligent (mainly older women), but most of my fellow teachers were not. What surprised me was how many of them hated learning themselves. They didn't read for pleasure and I knew a few who were outright hostile toward smart, motivated students. It was disillusioning to say the least.

 

Every now and again I get requests from my university to contribute to the College of Education. I send them a written decline with a detailed explanation of why I don't care to contribute (always mentioning that we homeschool as a result of my experiences). I donate to the academic scholarship fund instead.

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My dh has a degree in Rhetoric and then alternative certified for teaching. He went on to get his degree in Educational Leadership & Foundations.

 

Our insurance is a joke. If they increase the amount the provide guess houw much insurance goes up that year. We can't afford to have coverage for me and the kids.

 

Our raises the last few years have been small or nothing.

 

We do have a pension but no Social Security.

 

Last year in our state we faced cuts across the board. Thankfully he still has a position. Who knows what the future will bring education is facing more cuts in spending. One district in our state cut all of the vice principals at his level, if our district did that we would be without a job.

 

I am not complaining but sharing the other side of the story. And no we don't make $100K.

 

Move to NJ. Just be prepared for the taxes.

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My 'education' degree WAS a joke-- a very expensive joke.

 

I only had a handful of classes that actually HELPED me become a teacher/better teacher. I had excellent instructors for my Sr level courses.

 

"Arithmetic for Teachers" covered grades K-4 math-- half of the students FAILED it every semester... the concept was to WATCH and OBSERVE a 'good' teacher teaching elementary math... in reality it was a 'stop gap' to make sure elementary ed majors could do the math...

 

If you have 15 apples and 5 children... how many apples would each child get? My roommate could NOT do this type of problem-- she withdrew (failing) 2 times and made a 70% on her third try... She was hired immediately out of college. grrr

 

I remember taking the class at 7:30 MWF... I also took Calculus at 7:30 PM on MW the same semester... adding and subtracting fractions for breakfast and derivatives for dinner!

 

I was one of the 'smarter' elem majors (test score wise) and I took math and science courses for my electives. When I graduated I wanted to teach 5th grade math... EVERY interview I went too told me I had TOO MANY Math credits-- and that I should teach high school... (the high schools said I did not have ENOUGH math credits...) It actually HINDERED the job application process--- if I would have taken 'underwater basket weaving' I would have had little difficulty getting my first job.

 

My first job ended up being an 'in house' sub for an innercity high school...fun...(I looked YOUNGER than the students, if I strayed away from the math/science halls I got stopped for hall passes...).

 

In the end I was better suited for high school math...

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There is a huge difference between what is expected since the 1970's to complete your degree and that which was mandatory in earlier decades. I know plenty of incompetent and dangerous teachers and loathe their inadequacy. I also have had the privilege of some amazing teachers in my life especially as a young child. It was the case in decades past that actual subject knowledge was mandatory and the classroom dynamics and organization comprised perhaps a few courses. Now that ratio is reversed, 18 hours of coursework is sufficient in my state to have a certification to teach history in high school. The remainder of the credit hours are gen ed courses and bs classroom "management" courses. That said, let it not be forgotten that there are jewels in the dross both past and present. I am unsure how many posters here are aware that the WTM book was written by two women one of whom has a degree in education. Maybe the brush strokes in this thread are overly broad??

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If you have 15 apples and 5 children... how many apples would each child get? My roommate could NOT do this type of problem-- she withdrew (failing) 2 times and made a 70% on her third try... She was hired immediately out of college.

This is what happens when you have a system which consistently fails from the ground up. Your roommate should have failed second grade when she did not learn this for the first time, and should not have been promoted accordingly along her educational path - so she never would have been in a position to "learn" and struggle with these things in college.

 

This is the ultimate consequence of promoting everyone regardless of whether the concrete goals for each subject and each educational stage are defined and met.

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There is a huge difference between what is expected since the 1970's to complete your degree and that which was mandatory in earlier decades. I know plenty of incompetent and dangerous teachers and loathe their inadequacy. I also have had the privilege of some amazing teachers in my life especially as a young child. It was the case in decades past that actual subject knowledge was mandatory and the classroom dynamics and organization comprised perhaps a few courses.

In all honestly, the ONLY reason why I had awesome teachers as a child was because they were subject matter experts first, and educators second (i.e. first they properly majored in the fields, and then they took an additional load of pedagogy-related subjects to get their teaching certifications). And this, IMO, is a normal and natural sequence of things - first you actively deal with something for your own academic formation, and then you just add a class or two on child psychology and general didactic and methodic stuff related to your area.

 

I do not see a purpose of a distinct education degree past elementary school. If we are talking elementary, then I probably agree that the teachers must first and foremost be good pedagogues, then everything else (provided their own basic education in what they teach is rock solid - see my previous post), but middle school onwards... give me somebody who knows what they are talking about because they are "insiders" in a field in a broad sense, and that will do for 80% of things. Give me a historian to teach me history, a mathematician to teach me math, etc.

Edited by Ester Maria
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This is what happens when you have a system which consistently fails from the ground up. Your roommate should have failed second grade when she did not learn this for the first time, and should not have been promoted accordingly along her educational path - so she never would have been in a position to "learn" and struggle with these things in college.

 

This is the ultimate consequence of promoting everyone regardless of whether the concrete goals for each subject and each educational stage are defined and met.

 

clap3dk.gif

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I've been saying this for years.

 

I think the problem is actually bigger than it being "easy." It's really only easy if you're the sort of person who likes things to be easy. If you're the sort of person who likes to question, think, analyze, and generally meet challenges then it's a nightmare - or, at least, I found it to be so. Part of what makes it so "easy" to get an ed degree is that a huge proportion of it is jumping through hoops and red tape, checking off little boxes, so to speak.

 

So it's not just that it lets the slackers or the less academic students get by; the process simultaneously discourages the motivated, creative students. It's lose-lose.

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I was in college in the late 70's early 80's. My history professors used to mock the Collegeof Education teachers. Their department was the least respected on campus, I found it quite telling that those people most invested in higher education (college faculty and staff) looked down on the "Education" majors. :001_smile: It has not gotten better since then.

 

No, I was not an Education Major. :lol:

 

 

Similar sentiments were expressed about ed majors when I was in Uni (late 80's). There were many running ed major jokes around, as well.

 

They're still a joke, I guess. How sad for the kids. :glare:

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