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The BEd flaw of public school
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Imdramayu



Joined: 09 Feb 2007
Posts: 384
Location: Prince Sultan University

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:55 pm    Post subject: The BEd flaw of public school Reply with quote

I hear time & time again of not enough ESL (or ESOL) teachers in the public schools in the US. One big reason for that: to become a public school teacher, one needs a BEd (even if one already has a MA.TESOL). It is a barrier that public school teachers and their unions cooked up to control the flow of teachers into the public schools and control who got in. Now it is back-firing.

To solve the current poor ESOL teaching in public schools, public schools should accept non-BEd degrees (for example: MA.TESOL OR MA.Ed, etc.).

Im
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12757
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Imdramayu,

The unions and public school teachers cooked up the "barriers?" How about the state legislatures?



"LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
To teach, you must have a teaching license/certification. Each state has its own certification requirements, which typically include the following components:

Education: All states require that you have a bachelor’s degree at a minimum, and have completed a traditional or alternative teacher preparation program. To get your certification you will need to supply college transcripts and other verification.
Testing: States require that you complete a general teaching certification exam, such as a Praxis test, as well as a content-specific test for the subject(s) that you want to teach.
Student/Mentored Teaching: Many states require student teaching experience and/or first year mentoring of new teachers.
Background Check: States conduct criminal background checks and may also confirm citizenship status.
Remember, states are responsible for teacher licensure/certification. Requirements vary from state to state.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 843

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to Jofnslats excellent points, there are many, many alternate routes to certification, espcially in high need areas. Check out Teach For America, for example. It is specifically for people without a degree in Education, you are mentored while you gain certification, but earn a full salary. There are other programs in different states, for example, Wisconsin has certification by transcript evaluation. And, last but not least, in many states, the need is not for ESL teachers, but rather bi-lingual teachers to teach elementary students. Teaching TESOL to adults is not at all the same as teaching children. I have done both, and am trained in both, and they are really separate fields. If you are really interested in teaching kids, call the state licensing people in the state you want to teach in and ask about alternate certification. And while I am no huge fan of teacherīs unions, they have little to nothing to do with licensing, in fact, are often at odds with the licensing people, so do your homework on that one as well.
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AGoodStory



Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 468

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:06 pm    Post subject: Re: The BEd flaw of public school Reply with quote

Imdramayu wrote:
It is a barrier that public school teachers and their unions cooked up to control the flow of teachers into the public schools and control who got in.


I'm really curious about where this idea came from. Can you name one (or more) specific states where you believe this to be true? How about your home state--how were the certification requirements established? Who can change them?
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
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Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Imdramayu,

I don't have a BEd and I am frustrated at the thought of returning to university for three more years to complete one if I want to qualify to teach in my province.

That being said, I have many friends with BEd degrees and there is a lot more to it than just making life a pain in the ass for teachers. An MA TESOL does not compare to a BEd. Apples to oranges (or how about grapefruits to oranges - both citrous fruits but very different). The requirements, the subject matter, the approach, the motivations, I could go on forever. They are different creatures.

I'm not saying a person with an MA TESOL is incapable of properly instructing an elementary/middle/secondary classroom, of course many of them can, but I am saying that once you really go through the material and practical requirements expected during a BEd in TESL, you can really see why it is usually required, or at least why some form of upgrading (in fast-track states) is needed. There is no fast-track option here in Canada, I wish.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9500
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have both a BEd and an MA TESL/TEFL and I agree with everyone here that entirely different skill sets are required to teach K-12 and to teach language.

It's not about the unions - it's about the needed skills. Going from ESL/EFL to K-12 is indeed changing fields - of course additional training is needed.

Conversely, I wouldn't hire a K-12 teacher to teach ESL or EFL without training in language teaching. In fact, on the certification courses I've worked on, k-12 teachers tend to have a struggle adapting to the very different approaches and methods considered effective in language learning.
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GambateBingBangBOOM



Joined: 04 Nov 2003
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Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where I'm from (Ontario, Canada), if you want to teach ESL at the k-12 level, then you do your one-year B.Ed after you graduate from a related undergraduate degree. That would enable you to teach the primary/junior (k-6), junior/ intermediate (4-9) or intermediate/senior level (7- 13 or OAC, now 12). To teach ESL you need to do an "add-on" course from your (or another) faculty of education. These can be done on-line. They can also be done over the summer. Most teachers don't do them for the simple reason that they don't feel that they have to.

ESL teachers, OTOH, do a CTESL (or a post-graduate certificate in TESL / TESOL). They take the same length of time as the one-year B.ed and have a practicum etc. They are to teach adult ESL. You can also teach ESL at the k-12 level if you do a CTESL, and ALSO a B.Ed (not uncommon, because the CTESL programs are looked upon favourably by faculties of education, people often have a background undergrad in English, and more then half of everyone who does a degree in English applies to get into a B.Ed- meaning that a large majority get turned down for the limited spaces available. And there are very, very few jobs going teaching English literature in the province, and if you don't happen to be Catholic, then you cannot teach in about half of the schools that are publicly funded in the province because they're Catholic schools, you have to get a letter from a parish priest stating you are a practising Catholic to get a job- further reducing the number of available jobs. People with B.Ed are now teaching in private schools- who can hire just about anybody they want, and so used to hire people with masters degrees in their area [you get a masters degree in history and then teach history at a private high school in Toronto] but now they don't need to do that, they can hire only people with B.Ed, and very often are hiring people with a B.Ed AND a master's degree in their area).

I think people with an MA TESOL would be far more useful in a senior high school than an elementary, but the point of almost all master's in TESOL and Applied Linguistics degrees is to teach at the tertiary level (and that includes the CTESL programs- the point is to teach in adult LINC centres, and in the past at the community college level as well, but now due to the number of highly educated people in this area in the province, community colleges can and do ask for people to have a master's in TESOL/ Applied Linguistics- something that the CTESL is a prerequisite for, in Ontario).

Teacher training is designed to train people to teach (a) particular subject(s) to a specific target audience. If you don't have them teaching that particular subject, or if they aren't teaching to that target audience, then you limit their effectiveness, or remove it altogether.

To drastically increase the number of ESL teachers, I think English departments at universities and faculties of education could work together to ensure that there was at least one half-course available in sociolinguistics that was (cross)listed as an English course (and also some sort of professional or creative writing course), and then faculties of education could require that course of the people applying to do a B.Ed with English as a teachable (the way that at least one full course worth of Canadian history is required of everyone who wants to use History as a teachable for their B.Ed, even though you don't actually HAVE to study Canadian history to get a degree in history at most universities in Ontario). English teachers already teach creative writing and / or journalism as well as literature. I think the time is coming when schools in highly multi-cultural communities (like Toronto and the area around it) will have to look at English studies the way it is looked at in places like India- it's about teaching communication in English. That may be teaching people who don't speak English as a first language to communicate in English (ESL), it's usually about teaching English L1 people about literary communication (literature) , it could be teaching about how do their own literary (or genre- an aspect neglected far too often) writing (creative writing), it could be teaching how to communicate in English to targeted mass audiences (professional writing, especially, though not exclusively journalism). Then, faculties of education could make teacher trainees learn about teaching English literature primarily, but also writing (both professional and creative) and ESL aspects of what they do. Those who want to go on to specialize in language teaching (or writing, for that matter) could take a relevant master's degree (TESOL, MFA Creative Writing etc). If they did that, then I think a lot of current problems could be alleviated: fewer people with English undergrads would apply to teacher's college because they would have had to study something outside of their main focus, but also because they would have experience in doing something else they may look for other options rather than teaching English literature (many people apply to become literature teachers because they can''t think of anything else to do, and they don't want to be a starving poet), and there would be more people able to teach ESL, and English teachers with a greater understanding of English communications would have a greater chance at engaging students in class than if they are literature specialists who have very little experience with anything else related to the "What Can I Do With a Degree in... English" books (because declining numbers of kids reading is a further problem- but studying English at high school isn't supposed to be just about appreciating literature, it's supposed to be about communicating and understanding meaning on various level).

(In Ontario, teachables are defined by the courses you have taken- so if your undergrad is in psychology, then short of doing a second degree, you will very likely be teaching in the primary/junior level, because there are not particular teachables required [though I heard they are starting to ask people to have taken one or two courses from every area that is taught nowadays, so you would need to have taken a university course in Math, one in English etc,). I think this is different than in at least some states in the US where people take a comprehensive exam for each teachable, and so can become qualified to teach English literature without having taken university courses in English literature).
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Imdramayu



Joined: 09 Feb 2007
Posts: 384
Location: Prince Sultan University

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:36 pm    Post subject: PGDE Reply with quote

Who has taken a Post-grad degree in education? Is this like taking a one-year BEd supplement to one's bachelors? Do many boards of education accept it in Canada or the US?

Im
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know several people who have an MA in Education, but none are in North America. I assume it would probably be accepted in many places, but where jobs are highly competitive (like Ontario), I'd guess that a non-related BA plus MA Ed would be considered below the standard unless accompanied by significant relevant experience.
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timothypfox



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the US, I believe most jurisdictions do not require a BEd, and instead a 2 years MA in education is the usual requirement.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 843

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

timothypfox wrote:
In the US, I believe most jurisdictions do not require a BEd, and instead a 2 years MA in education is the usual requirement.


The usual requirement for what? Teaching in public schools? Entry level jobs all requite a BSed, with student teaching, and many school districts requite a Masterīs after a certain number of years, or a number of Continueing Education units per year, which can be either college classes, or workshops offered by the school district itself.
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timothypfox



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In New Jersey and New York, an MA in education is the requirement for teacher certification - not a BEd.
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timothypfox



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 372

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't bother with the BEd in the US as it takes longer to do. Just go do a 2 year MA or MS in education. A BEd is only really useful in Canada. A MA or MS in Education will qualify you to apply for public school teaching jobs and become fully certified as a teacher without additional course work in the US. Most jurisdictions in the US will require you to do professional development courses no matter what certification you have throughout your career. Also, master's programs include a teaching practicuum which the colleges set up for you and give you teaching experience. If you are worried about experience, do a teaching fellows program offered in most US larger cities and they will pretty much guarantee you a full-salaried job out of that along with subsidizing your master's degree...

I get the feeling there are far fewer teaching jobs in Canada than the US?..?
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

timothypfox wrote:
In New Jersey and New York, an MA in education is the requirement for teacher certification - not a BEd.


Two statesī requirements (and according to the NJ page it is not a MA, but a BS for initial certifiate) do not make it the norm. The norm for initial certiciation is a BS in Education, followed by more coursework. Here is a link to certification requirements by state:

http://education.uky.edu/AcadServ/content/50-states-certification-requirements
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 843

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

timothypfox wrote:
I wouldn't bother with the BEd in the US as it takes longer to do. Just go do a 2 year MA or MS in education. A BEd is only really useful in Canada. ?


Where in the heck are you getting your information? If you already have a 4 year degree, in order to be certified all you have to do is take the missing coursework for a new major, not do a whole new degree. Why on earth would you say a BSed is only useful in Canada, when it is the norm for initial certification in the majority of states in the US? I donīt usually care what people post, but you are posting some very inaccurante information.
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