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District Policies are Behaviorist

Posted By: Bernice Stephens on April 25, 2002
I agree with the general content of your article. The District, including surrounding local jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia, have not renewed their own professional Development. They are still in the nineteenth century learning mode. Take a look at the way they develop teacher-training curriculum. Few, if any, of the Teacher-training institutions come together to share their experiences about teachers' needs. What is done at Trinity College is different from what is done at Bowie University or at Maryland U. even though courses have the same names.

Course structures also reflect that "behaviorist" model. For adults changing careers, the sit-down-and-read, do-a-paper course is meaningless. Projects are better for them. Interaction with students in the classroom while in training is better for them. New teachers also need serious internships where they teach alongside a veteran for at least a year, before they are hired. There is little evidence of deep reflection on the nature of teaching by adult learners.

Our politicians continue in the behaviorist mode as well. Consider the type of programs they are making mandatory. If schools don't comply they will be punished by taking away funds.
(I am an adjunct faculty member of Trinity College, Washington D.C.)
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 District Policies are Behaviorist by Bernice Stephens on April 25, 2002
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