USA: Ma-lärarutbildningen håller inte måttet

Som vi annonserat tidigare publicerades i går (26/6) en rapport i USA om tillståndet för lärarutbildningen i matematik för lärare i elementary school. Studien har bl a omfattat ett test på kunskaper i matematik som de studerande – enligt ledande matematiker – borde utveckla under utbildningen. Några huvudresultat:

Low Expectations: Compared to other countries, the expectations for mathematics knowledge that aspiring teachers must have before they are admitted into a teacher preparation program are exceedingly low.  One out of six schools in the study admits teachers without ever asking if they can successfully do grade school arithmetic.  Nearly all of the remaining skills verify only that the teacher knows the math learned in middle school.

Low Standards:  The exit tests administered by states to award a teaching license assess virtually the same math used on admission tests.  In other words, the math knowledge needed to get out is little more than the math knowledge needed to get in.

Lack of National Consensus: Across the United States there is no consensus on how institutions should prepare elementary teachers in mathematics. Given that the job description of the elementary teacher does not vary much from state to state, there is an inexplicable  range of course requirements from one institution to the next, from those that require none to those that require up to six. 

Irrelevant Coursework: Few programs cover the mathematics content that elementary teachers need.  Only one in eight schools actually requires a sufficient amount of the coursework that elementary teachers will need.

Haphazard State Guidance: State regulation and guidance for the preparation of elementary teachers is haphazard, further compounding the variation in institutional requirements.

Algebra MIA: The nation's goal of building the foundation for algebra in elementary grades is not evident in the preparation that elementary teachers receive.  In no other area of mathematics are aspiring elementary teachers more shortchanged. 

Läs pressmeddelandet, [National council on teacher quality, pdf] ...

No common denominator: The preparation of elementary teachers in mathematics by America's education schools, June 2008, [National council on teacher quality] ...

Study: Teachers don't learn enough about math, [msnbc.com] ...