ERIC Number: ED320855
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
What Do Prospective Teachers Learn in Their Liberal Arts Courses? Issue Paper 89-8.
McDiarmid, G. Williamson
Teacher education reform policies and proposals--particularly those of the Holmes Group--call for fewer education courses and more liberal arts. This paper examines the assumptions that underlie such proposals. A review of recent research on teaching and learning in undergraduate physics and mathematics raises questions about the effectiveness of undergraduate instruction in challenging fundamental ideas and beliefs and helping students develop meaningful, connected understandings. Questions are raised about the role that recent ideas about cognition play in teaching liberal arts. Recent reports on undergraduate education that portray teaching as frequently unchallenging offer little hope of change: The reward structure of higher education is unlikely to change to encourage more attention to teaching. The various liberal arts disciplines provide scholars little incentive to think about, much less inquire into, teaching their field. In the culture of higher education, scholars' prerogatives to teach what they individually consider important tends to take precedence over concerns for the perceived coherence of programs of study. (Author/JD)
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, Educational Change, Higher Education, Intellectual Disciplines, Knowledge Level, Liberal Arts, Teacher Education Curriculum, Theory Practice Relationship
National Center for Research on Teacher Education, 116 Erickson Hall, College of Education, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1034 ($4.30).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research on Teacher Education, East Lansing, MI.