close supervision and with detailed coaching aimed at foster- ing improvement.

  Writing almost 30 years ago, B. Othanel Smith (1980a) urged his colleagues to embrace a similar conception of teacher education, arguing that “we prefer ‘training’ to ‘education’ for the simple reason that it designates the kind of education required for professional competence” (p. 6). Today, the word training is in disfavor because it seems … Continue reading “close supervision and with detailed coaching aimed at foster- ing improvement.”

 

Writing almost 30 years ago, B. Othanel Smith (1980a) urged his colleagues to embrace a similar conception of teacher education, arguing that “we prefer ‘training’ to ‘education’ for the simple reason that it designates the kind of education required for professional competence” (p. 6). Today, the word training is in disfavor because it seems to connote mindless and atomized repetition and, hence, to “deskill” the professional work of teaching. The low esteem in which the idea is held, however, stems from a pale underinterpretation of the term. Training refers to “discipline and instruction directed to the development of powers or formation of character; education, rearing, bringing up; systematic instruction and exercise in some art, profession, or occupation, with a view to proficiency in it” (Oxford English Dictionary, n.d.). No one balks at “medi- cal training” or blinks when disciplinary scholars—from historians to mathematicians—refer to the skills, habits of mind, and ways of asking and answering questions that they developed through their “training.” Far from reducing practice in these realms to mind- less routines, this kind of “systematic instruction and exercise” defers to the highly skilled nature of professional practice.

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