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The Humanities, Arts, and Education

Are Certifications and Degrees Sufficient Measures of Teacher Qualification?

After the Humanities Indicators released reports on teacher qualifications at the middle and high school levels last week, responses on social media and the blogosphere tended to take the numbers as the only meaningful indicators of teacher quality. As the authors of the report noted in the introduction, the numbers should be interpreted with greater caution, as experts in school teaching view these numbers as useful indicators, but not the full measure of teacher expertise.

To fill in some of the gaps between the numbers and the classroom experience, we invited two distinguished experts in pre-collegiate humanities education to reflect on what the numbers miss. Barbara Cambridge (Interim Executive Director of the National Council for Teachers of English) highlights the extended professional networks that shape teachers beyond their credentials, and Nancy McTygue (Executive Director of the California History-Social Science Project at the University of California, Davis) addresses some of the personal dimensions of teacher preparation that make a person worthy to stand in front of a classroom.

September 24, 2015

Supporting Professional English Teachers Beyond the Credential

posted by Barbara Cambridge

English language arts teachers benefit from having an English major and being certified in English. That statement is true, however, only if the English major is well structured and the certification addresses the pedagogical needs of a student in English. The definition of an English major and the elements of certification addresses    More... 

September 24, 2015

What History Teachers Really Need to be Prepared

posted by Nancy McTygue

According to the new indicators, approximately three-quarters of secondary level students take history from teachers without a major and credential in the field. This is not a cause for alarm. Our students deserve qualified teachers, but undergraduate majors and formal credentials are but a small part   More... 

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