ERIC Number: ED428874
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Confession of a Teacher Educator: Memorandum to the Department Chairman. Revised.
Katz, Lilian G.
This paper is based on a memorandum written to the chairman of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois concerning the author's experiences teaching three undergraduate teacher education courses. The paper describes some of the difficulties and failures of this teaching experience and conveys general impressions of the school's undergraduate teacher education program in early childhood education, offering suggestions for its future. Areas covered in the discussion include impressions of students and specific problems with the author's teaching of the courses "Parent Involvement Techniques for Teachers" and "Principles of Practice in Early Childhood Education." Problems included an apparent lack of interest by students in theoretical versus methods-oriented course content (for example, understanding the distinction between teaching and mothering versus learning how to prepare parent newsletters), student discomfort with the author's informal, intellectually-oriented teaching style (as opposed to assigning and testing on specific page numbers in the textbook), and clashes between course content and practicum experiences in local schools. The paper raises the possibility that within-department differences may contribute to these problems, but acknowledges the difficulty inherent in providing students with an understanding of various teaching ideologies while presenting a coherent theme. The paper also covers the possibility that the courses students now find unhelpful may be reconsidered once they gain teaching experience. The paper also touches on the role of graduate teaching assistants and offers a concise summary of the described dilemmas and instructional possibilities raised by their teaching experience. (EV)
Descriptors: College Faculty, Early Childhood Education, Educational Improvement, Educational Needs, Educational Quality, Higher Education, Inservice Teacher Education, Preservice Teacher Education, Program Improvement, Role of Education, Student Attitudes, Student Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Education, Teacher Education Programs, Teacher Educators, Undergraduate Students
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A