Eileen-- You've raised important ideas for universities to consider. I agree with you that placement should not be taken lightly, and the practice of teachers we use for placements should be matched as far as possible with what the colleges are proposing as methods.
>>I sometimes have student teachers in my classroom. However, most are placed with older, more senior teachers. Their methods are frequently static and outdated. Many of the student teachers are frustrated by their placements, however, such placements continue. Why, because the University does not insist on different placements.<<
>>I personally believe that if the Universities were willing to pay a portion of the students fees for credits to the classroom teacher, they could insist on choosing only quality placements. Since they are unwilling to pay for the placements they often get classrooms where the teachers are hoping for the two week break while the student teacher takes over, rather than concentrating on what they need to do to facilitate a quality experience for the student teacher.<<
I think, though, that of course it's part of a complex web. This is NOT to excuse it, but to b egin to think about where to leverage some change. If we had clinical professorships that were part school teaching and part college teaching, and those were respected by b oth college and school, we'd be closer to knowing whose practice was interesting and why. We could also run some of our classes in the schools, and get a little more of a sense of the school itself, as well. And if colleges supported some teachers by providing places and people to do sabbatical curriculum development with (a sort of lab), and if college people could put in a half year or a full year without losing seniority--we'd have more interpenetration.
More important, however, is the fact that the tuition money that students pay is largely going for non-teaching things, much to administration. In the past ten years there's been a mushrooming of administration and managers in most colleges. The students' money goes to those folks, many of whom do not teach, do not understand teaching, and care far more about "managing" the faculty than anything else. It's way worse than in the schools (and those are already way too managed.)
I wonder why it seems the word ad-minister has been altered so--it means "to minister to". And I believe the job of the college administrator should be to minister to the needs of the faculty and students. [Here, I make a wry and bitter humph sound.]
>>This is one of the many issues I believe need to be addressed by Teaching Colleges and Universities.<<
Indeed, I couldn't agree more.
Rebecca Corwin Lesley College Cambridge, MA ......a college with many managers.........