Well, being a member of NEA, I of course get countless e-mails about news going on in the education world in America. This morning one article in particular caught my eye, "SC creating Adjunct teaching certification." I read the short summary and decided to browse through the article.
In general, the state of SC State Board of Education has approved a new adjunct teaching certificate that would allow anyone to work as part-time teachers until completely certified. This certificate lasts one year and can be renewed annually. Also, these individuals must have spent at least five out of their last ten year doing something in their, "field of expertise," to qualify.
Honestly, I am not sure where I stand on a bill like this, I see both sides as somewhat valid arguments.
Myself, being in the middle of completing my masters in education because I have been told this is vital in getting a job in the current market is outraged to hear this article. Maybe I should move to South Carolina and apply to be a history teacher (I have been in college for four years and add in one year of high school history, I have met the requirement of doing something in my field for five years) clearly this new certification system is demeaning to anyone that has studied in the field of education. With a law like this why even get your teaching certificate the old-fashioned way of actually interning and taking education classes on psychology, special education, methods, and now technology?
However, the other side poses the argument that this certificate program would attract more individuals in hard to get areas like math or auto mechanics, because they would not have to go back to school to get their teacher's license. Which, honestly if I had a son or daughter on the vocational track would I want a true auto mechanic or someone that had More schooling in education? Or another scenario, if I had a gifted son or daughter that had never been challenged in any math class before and now someone that has been a mathematical engineer for twenty years wants to come teach, I would be excited.
Therefore, I end at this question, "How valuable is a masters in education?" I admire that at my university students are not allowed to major in education and instead must first major in their discipline they plan on teaching along with a minor in another discipline, making you highly qualified and well-versed in your subject before getting an extra minor in education and your masters. But, how important is this program if proposals like this adjunct certification program are out there. Why should we not major in our interest, work for several years, probably making more than a starting teachers salary and then come back and teach if we want to?
The answer, people will say, is that there is much more than knowing the content that goes into being a skillful teacher. This I will agree with, however who is to say that you learn this "extra stuff" in a theory and practice class? Why are these classes called theory? Because you cannot replicate a classroom setting, bottom line. Therefore in my opinion, the most important part of an education program is finishing an internship in a school and having the guidance and support from your program director and professors of how to deal when new scenarios arise that were not found in any of your textbooks!
P.S. For anyone interested in the article: