Date: Oct 14, 1995 11:03 AM
Author: Rebecca Corwin
Subject: Re: Class size (Re- Getting

        Reply to:   RE>>Class size (Re: Getting students to take

The problem with a liberal studies major (so-called) is that a student really
needn't know much in any area. It seems to me it can debase the whole
concept of a major--because then there's not the content knowledge chunk one
could generally assume with a major. It's clear to me that teachers need
both content knowledge and how-to-teach and things about children's learning.

Even though I know that there are those who devalue education courses, they
are needed for reflective, thoughtful, skilled practice. Whether every
education course in the world is a good or helpful one is not the point;
neither is every mathematics or biology course.

Prosective teachers need help in thinking about children and children's
learning and their own roles in it; they also need significant chunks of
knowledge to orient themselves. In my experience, liberal studies majors may
often provide lovely landscapes of subject matter, but not always the depth
that we associate with a major.

>>All students at Western Maryland College complete a "full" academic
major. Those desiring teacher certification also complete an education
minor (elem. or sec.). Our state is talking strongly about the deletion
of education majors (the impact would be on those institutions that have
early childhood or elementary education majors at the undergraduate
level. Like California, several Maryland colleges have reently proposed
something like "liberal studies" majors. Not sure how these will work
in the long runn, but I'm happy y with what we do.<<