Friday, April 30, 2010

Circular Curriculum

I was at a meeting on Thursday afternoon about some topic. During the meeting a question came up about something else. Someone who splits time between math and math-ed asked, "Why don't we have a math class for pre-service elementary teachers."

I blurted out, "Oh! I know the answer for that one. The Dean of Education took the math class for pre-service elementar teachers off the list of classes that counts as a "math class" for graduation, they don't require these classes of their students, and these classes are harder than gen-ed math. So the students stopped signing up for them, so they got cancelled for low enrollment every semester, so we stopped putting it on the timetable."

Fortunately there is enough "new blood" around that has never taught these courses that we may be able to find people willing to teach them (assuming that education decides to revive them by requiring them). Most people reach the point where the pre-service teachers' angry unwillingness to learn elementary school math makes them say, "never again!" about teaching these courses.