Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pedagogy vs. Content

Something I've noticed as I've progressed through graduate study is a difference between secondary teachers and elementary teachers. This observation is by no means statistically sound, or drawn from a necessarily representative sample, but here it is, nonetheless. When asked why they went into teaching, elementary teachers responses often revolve around themes of loving teaching, children, learning. Secondary teachers often revolve around a love of whatever subject they are teaching.

Not that this is necessarily related, but I also am of the belief that secondary schools are the most in need of change.

So I suppose it's not terribly surprising that the Indiana Superintendent, a former science teacher himself, is of the view that content is more important than pedagogy. Nevermind that the research shows he's terribly wrong. But I can, and I bet most people can, remember teachers who loved teaching, and those who only loved their subjects. Which ones were intriguing, fascinating, enthralling? And which were insufferable bores?