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Rethinking the Way Higher Ed Trains Teachers

Just like pilots aren’t allowed to fly solo until they are capable, Deborah Ball, dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Education, thinks teaching programs should follow the same principle. That’s the analogy Ball drew last summer when speaking about teacher preparation to a group of higher education leaders at a forum in Aspen, Colorado.

“A person who enters pilot school does not take a plane up on his own when he enters pilot school,” Ball said. “Most teacher educators are proud of saying, ‘Our candidates are out in schools from day one.’ Really? Is that really a great idea that children are having people teaching them reading lessons who don’t know anything about teaching?”