Do You Know the Education Profession’s Number One Reform Issue?

An example of why reform fails in the classroom is represented by two initiatives designed and funded by the Gates Foundation. These are The Measures of Effective Teaching, and The Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching programs. The Measures program provided extremely helpful insights when it reported the following findings in 2012: “[A] consistent pattern of weak subject-matter instruction. … the instruction was weakest … on [developing] content understanding . . . intellectual challenge . . . explicit strategy use . . . [and] student participation in making meaning and reasoning . . .” (pp. 24–27). Classroom raters “rarely found highly accomplished practices for the competencies often associated with the intent to teach students higher-order thinking skills” (p. 26).

Yet, according to the RAND Corporation’s June 2018 report on the Gates’ Intensive Partnership program, none of its six research questions addressed the weak instructional findings of the Measures program. The report’s key finding? Goals for student achievement were not achieved. A search of the RAND documents shows that there is no mention of rote instruction, rote learning, critical thinking, critical reading, critical writing, and critical instruction. In effect, the findings of one Gates effort (measures showing poor critical instruction and learning), are ignored in another Gates effort (achieving effective teaching).

The devastating Gates’ instructional measures and instructional findings capture the Number 1 Issue of education reform. After centuries of existence, the profession still practices a pedagogy based on roteism instruction. Roteism denies the natural science of how the human mind innately thinks and learns critically when it engages the world and its subject matter. Therefore, roteism pedagogy inherently defeats subject matter comprehension and development of critical thinking, reading, and writing abilities in all learners, teachers, and student. The profession does not practice critical instruction, which uses innate cognitive powers possessed by all as the basis to think, read, and write critically as the means to comprehend new and revisited subject matter.

The profession’s failure to evolve instructionally claims many innocent and unaware victims. They include teacher educators, teacher candidates, teachers, researchers, professional developers, textbook authors, all school and college students, and all others with an interest in seeing all learners, teachers and students, succeed.

Here is what must be taken away from years of teacher education, school, college, and textbook reform efforts: None of it has changed the ineffective way thinking, reading, and writing; subject matter; instruction; and learning come together mentally in classrooms at all levels and in all disciplines. After centuries of instructional practice, professional pedagogy continues to be defined by firmly entrenched roteism instruction. No amount of well-meaning teacher education, practice, mentoring, coaching; professional development, measurement, digital technology, or other initiatives that lie outside the classroom can cure professional practice that is rooted in roteism.

Solving this central-to-everything instructional problem requires that the profession minimize roteism instruction. But how? The profession needs to evolve into a pedagogy for critical instruction.

Dr. Victor P. Maiorana is at the forefront of fulfilling this need. His ground-breaking critical instruction pedagogy emphasizes a core body of knowledge for preparation, practice, certification, research, and professional development based on critical language-literacy and intellectual ownership of content. These basic elements, together with a core curriculum and related resources, can be found here.

The Best (and Worst) Degrees For Business Success

If there’s one thing the Great Recession taught us, it’s that some degrees count for more than others in the business world. If you’re dreaming of a career in business, chances are you’ve thought about your educational options more than once. After all, some degrees are worth more than others and some degrees can help you more than others when it comes to achieving business success. If you’d like to know more about the best and the worst degrees for a career in business, read on.

The Best Degrees for Business

Getting the MBA

Many people who dream of business success gravitate toward the MBA degree. The Master of Business Administration degree teaches students about making managerial decisions and about the principles of economics. It also provides a solid foundation in accounting and offers insights into customer buying behaviors. This type of degree offers useful skills like accounting and management training. According to the Payscale website, those who earn an MBA can earn as much as $126,000 per year. Some companies will even pay for employees in senior positions to obtain an MBA, especially if it’s pursued from an online university.

Other Business Degree Options

If you’re not quite up to committing to a full MBA-track degree, Investopedia recommends getting a Master of Finance degree. This degree teaches you about risk management, investments, and how to successfully manage your assets.

The benefit of this degree compared to other advanced degrees is that it only takes a year to earn. This means that you can work in the business field for a couple of years before getting the degree. Not only will you gain some practical experience in business, you’ll have the opportunity to save up some money to pay for the degree. Not having to take on student loan debt in the process of getting your degree will help you in the long run. The money you save by not having to pay back your student loans can be invested in a business of your own.

Other Useful Degrees

The Best (and Worst) Degrees For Business Success

In the age of the Internet, the ability to write clearly and the ability to communicate has become more important than ever. That’s likely why an Entrepreneur article suggests that degrees in English and Communication can play a vital role in business.

Nowadays, business writing isn’t just about creating memos and writing emails to clients, though that’s part of it. SEO, or search engine optimization, and the specific writing skills that this marketing technique requires make up the foundation of many businesses’ marketing communication strategies. SEO writers ensure that a business’s website get organic visitors from the web. The advantage of these types of potential customers is that they very often come online with the intention to buy. The ability to use the right keywords to attract them to a company’s site plays a key role in that. That’s the job of an SEO expert. If you want to learn these skills, you’ll often find classes in them in your local college’s English, communication, and marketing departments.

The Worst Degrees for Business

Liberal Arts Degree

According to Forbes, the demand for the arts goes up in an “up” economy, but the arts are also the first thing to suffer in a recession. The same can be said for arts degrees, some humanities degrees, psychology, philosophy, history, etc. While there is an argument for a liberal arts education – namely that it gives you the look into human nature that you need to successfully understand your customers – it isn’t necessary to get a liberal arts degree to do that. Most degrees, even business degrees, require their students to take core classes in the liberal arts.


The Best (and Worst) Degrees For Business Success

Like the liberal arts degree, an education in psychology can be useful if it’s done right. After all, some careers like advertising and marketing rely on understanding psychology in order to understand customer behavior. However, taking some psychology classes as a part of an advertising or marketing degree makes more sense for the business person than going straight for the psychology degree.

Final Thoughts on Useful Business Degrees

Getting a useful education is one of the best things you can do for yourself in terms of earning an income. This is doubly true for those pursuing a career in business. The skills you learn by obtaining a business degree will provide you with the skills you need to run your business on a daily basis. That said, some degrees are more useful than others. While it can be argued that liberal arts or psychology are useful when it comes to dealing with people, they shouldn’t be the only classes that college students take. It’s better to take coursework in these subjects alongside other more business-related topics if you want to have success in business.