I'm glad you felt the same way I did, Sandra, when I read this statement. I
wasn't going to respond to it at the time but I've been thinkin' about just
exactly what is being said here. Certification is not meaningless nor
arbitrary. Certification is not easy to come by. Certification is EXACTLY
what it implies...to have taken courses in ed. methods, art background, and
student teaching in this field and to have passed these with passable
grades. The toughest part of cert.is to pass a national art education as
well as general education "test" to qualify walking into a classroom and
teaching. Yes there ARE objective art standards for teaching art.
I was out of the teaching field for over 5 years and had to re-qualify to
re-enter as well as be recertified in a new state. Hey, guys, if you're
like me, some of you took the "test" way-back-when and it isn't like that
these days. The subject matter test in art is way harder and much longer
for our newer teachers. Now you have to do alot more writing, support value
judgments, compare and contrast, bring pictures of your own work and
discuss in writing. You have to explain methods and materials and how you
would present lesson plans using these materials. If you happen to not know
alot about an area because you've never worked with that particular
material, you're up a creek. That means your knowledge has to be VAST and
specific. Much more so nowadays.
Not only did I have to go through that, I had to go through certification
in a new state (California). Now I don't know about YOUR particular state,
but this one loves to make it difficult and expensive for us teachers. They
keep adding new required courses for new teachers... like CLAD, special
ed., computers, health, reading, to mention a few.
The reason I'm mentioning all of this is that I KNOW when I meet a teacher
on this listserv and he/she is credentialed, I know they have gone through
the same hoops as I have. I know what their extensive knowledge MUST be and
I know they had to pass the same requirements as I did. If I'm speaking to
an non-credentialed person, I have no idea their amt. of knowledge garnered
and must weigh only what they say in order to make a judgment. I say this
in all fairness and am not implying that an uncredentialed person is less
of a teacher...only that I have no indication of their knowledge other than
their verbal communication.
Credentialing does not make a good teacher. That's a fact. But...it does
give an indication of standards being met. Yes...these standards can be
tested, measured and are. Certification is both meaningful and specific.
Bunki Kramer - Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Rd., Danville, California 94526