Since the late 1970s, a person who knows math has been able to teach math. And that applies to other subjects, too. In fact, institutions of higher education have been prohibited from offering an undergraduate degree in education. That could change with the passage of HB 3217, which would bring back the education degree in Texas.
Glenda Ballard, dean of the School of Human Development and Education at St. Edward’s University in Austin supports the change.
“Many people felt like that we in education were overdoing the comprehensive nature of the need for teaching pedagogy, teaching classroom management, teaching the development of a child… that we focus too much on those things and that we de-emphasize the content,” Ballard says.
The ability to offer degrees in education has significant implications for teacher retention, as well.
“It is so challenging to get students to agree to major in education today. Because imagine you’re 19 years old, and you’re looking for how to become a teacher and you have to end up in interdisciplinary studies. And as a result now, we can recruit heavily for students who want to be teachers. We can really elevate the profession again. That’s the thing that as a lifelong educator really is important to me,” Ballard says.
Now, potential teachers will have more classes in pedagogy and classroom management, leading to better classrooms and student outcomes.
“We can continue to improve and enhance the quality of the teacher, which will in turn enhance the quality of the classroom,” Ballard says.
Written by Brooke Reaves.