Reply to: RE>>Class size (Re: Getting students to take responsibility)
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.<<