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Reference-and-Education Becoming a classroom teacher in a public school starts with obtaining a college degree; completing the coursework required for an education major – typically two years of upper division study – and student teaching for six to twelve months. The next step is to obtain a license or alternative teaching certification. Because these credentials are state specific, it is important to explore precise requirements from the state where one would like to teach. In many states, completion of a college course of study and testing in a credentialing program will automatically result in state teaching credentials. In others, licensing involves passing some kind of exam or exams in the teacher’s subject area, whether in general primary education or in a specialty, such as reading. One test that is typically required prior to entering a teaching program is the Praxis. The Praxis series of tests is currently mandatory in 40 states. The Praxis I is generally required in the freshman or sophomore year of college. Known as the Pre-Professional Skills Test, it covers basic skills in reading, writing and math. Aside from being a prerequisite for state teachers’ certification, Praxis I is also often used to pre-qualify applicants for an Education major. Praxis II, or Professional Assessment for Beginning Teachers, tests for specific knowledge by subject area, as well as general and specific teaching skills. This test is generally taken in the junior or senior year. Credentials are generally issued within defined limits, such as: • Early childhood education (preschool to third grade) • Elementary (first grade through eighth grade) • Middle and secondary credentials require a field of expertise credential, in addition to other state specific requirements. The highly publicized teacher shortage in the United States is most prominent in inner city areas, and in some particular subject matters such as technology, math and science. To address these issues, most states have established alternative teacher certification programs for individuals who have a desire to teach and already have at least a bachelor’s degree in subjects other than Education. Additionally, some universities have created teacher education centers that enable people wanting to obtain certification or endorsements to their existing licensing (for special education, English as a Second Language and the like) in an accelerated format. The Praxis tests have created a lot of controversy as even professionals who are already teaching, and are regarded as very good instructors, often fail them. Also, both African Americans and Hispanics, who are underrepresented in the teaching profession, fail the Praxis more often than Caucasians and Asians. This has generated serious concern that the emphasis on these standardized tests promotes the homogenization of the teacher workforce in an increasingly diverse world. From "No Child Left Behind" to private initiatives such as that of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, teacher competence and effectiveness continues to be a critical concern in today’s competitive global economy. The Praxis method of evaluating potential teachers was developed as one way to address that concern. Perhaps it is not the idea that needs some reconsideration, but the content or format of the tests themselves. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: