|Action||Comprehensive Revision of the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel|
|Comment Period||Ends 11/6/2015|
I have been a teacher in Virginia for the past 5 years, and have 10 years of experience overall. Most of those years I have taught the Project Lead The Way Engineering curriculum, and I am a Master Teacher and pilot school for the Computer Science & Software Engineering course. I oppose the proposal (8 VAC 20-23) creating an additional path for engineers to gain teacher licensure. Virginia Code (8 VAC 20-22) currently offers options for certification that are based on sound reasoning. Multiple studies have shown that content knowledge is NOT enough to make a good teacher. Sound educational pedagogy and training is an essential part of good teaching, and it includes far more than the ability to apply formulas to a purpose.
Engineers are always welcome in the teaching profession as long as they have gone through the necessary training and gained the background knowledge & skills that will allow them to succeed in the classroom - which includes pedagogy, classroom management and preparation skills. Content knowledge is important, but alone does not a SUCCESSFUL teacher make.
As it currently stands, there is only one college in the state of Virginia that has a Technology Education undergraduate degree, and this past year that program graduated NO teachers because all of those students went into industry. We cannot make an already tenuous situation worse by adding further requirements and more specializations in a field where the state and most of the country is facing massive shortages over the next 10 to 20 years. There is a high need in every state on the East Coast for more Technology Education teachers, and making it more difficult to earn certification for classes that are in high demand will mean students will suffer from lack of opportunity or lack of understanding if they are taught by someone without educational training.
As posted by a coworker and friend of mine, George Bishop, I share the following:
In the majority of comments posted I see no actual statistics provided that support the need for a stand-alone engineering discipline. The following publications should be read and digested prior to making a determination to add engineering as a discipline or making any changes to the regulations for endorsement for Virginia. This effort to change the existing Virginia Code is unnecessary, arbitrary, and redundant. Such a change will weaken the standards already in place and by which Technology Education teachers demonstrate on a daily basis the application of mathematics and science (engineering) through the use of technology. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education is alive and well in Virginia without the proposed changes.