Producing Teachers Who Know Their Subject

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Good for Leon Botstein. Decrying the "unfortunate stranglehold" that education schools have on teacher training, the iconoclastic president of Bard College in Annandale, New York has established a new Master of Arts in Teaching program in which teachers will take as many courses in their subject area as in pedagogy. For a master's degree program in teaching, this is unheard of. Dr. Botstein became convinced of the need for greater subject content knowledge after his experience of trying to staff a high school. He's even said that if it were up to him there would be even more content taught and less pedagogy, but New York State regulations won't allow it. The degree also stands out for asking entrants to have either a bachelor's in the field that they would teach or the equivalent coursework. The one-year program with a tuition fee of $24,500 will start small with 40 to 60 slots and no more than 15 students per discipline.