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A provocative title?

Why do many schools insist on potential teachers having a degree?

Would a degree in 'Basket Weaving' really make me a better teacher?

I see the degree as a record of a person’s ability to learn. At no point does it prove the persons ability to teach.

I am in progress with a TEFL course. I don't have a degree, but I scored the same as a person with a 'Masters Degree' in a test.

The TEFL alone should hold more value than a degree as it shows that the ability to teach English has been achieved.

I work as a packaging designer; I often come by work that has been designed by Graduates. I find myself altering their drawings to make the packaging function correctly. They have no real experience.

I have gathered so much information over the years, funding my own further education in many subjects. I have worked hard after finishing school and gained knowledge in all manner of different things.

I believe, that what I have in my mind is just as if not more practical than what a graduate has.

All the best,

Lee.
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Comments  
I agree with you, well, yes and no...

I have a degree in Teaching English as a Second Language and I have been teaching here in Canada for over 10 years. I taught primary, secondary and now, I teach adults. I have seen just about everything! Emotion: smile

Anyway...

I think that knowledge is one thing but in teaching, personality is also important. I am very dynamic, outgoing, patient, I have a certain talent to explain things clearly, etc... But I doubt I'd be able to be as good as I am now if I hadn't done my BA (that's what we call it here in Canada...). I learned the mechanics of the language, I learned how a child learns, how a teenager learns, I learned how to prepare good tests and exercises, things I would have never known otherwise.

French is my mother tongue and I am also bery good in French but I would NEVER be able to teach it, even as a second language! Well, maybe to beginners, but not to advanced students!

Just my 2 cents...

Sophie.
Sophie,

In your case the degree in TESOL is very important as it shows that you have leart the ability to teach the English language.
Someone with a BA in Physics would never be able to say that. Therefore my argument is that a degree in Physics is useless for someone wanting to teach English.

Educational institutions should restrict the requirement for a degree to a degree in the English language, or teaching, such as yours.

The whole system is unfair.
A degree should not be an 'Instant teacher award'!

All the best,

Lee.
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I really hated studying and I only managed to finish my degree because my folks threatened to kick me out of the house (no kidding) if I didn't. I never intended to be a teacher. I just became one by chance. But since I became a teacher, I realized the value of having a good college education. Looking back, I'm really thankful my parents didn't give up on me. My only regret is that I didn't study hard enough to get a lot of As.

As teachers, we owe it to our students to be the best we can ever be. They're not paying us good money for nothing. How can we expect them to study hard and be good students when we weren't good students ourselves? How can we instill in them the value of taking their lessons seriously? Having finished a degree is a good way (of course there are other ways) to show our resolution and mettle, that we have what it takes to finish what we have started.
Lee in England :When one has a B. Ed in English which is a three or four year course obviously one is going to be better qualified to teach English especially if one also has a CELTA.The fact that you thought yourself better has nothing to do with the degree.Some people however much qualified never make good teachers. Not all degrees qualify one to teach English. What nonsense to suggest that a four week course is as good as a five year degree in English.
Please think again
I agree with you. I hated being at school and when i was at college and did fine art, i wasn't happy. In high school i never really tried hard enough, i regret it now (b a little). But i am now teachiong english in China after i did a TEFL. I think You need experience in what you want to do and knowledge of what you are teaching. I know it varies with diffrent people. My friends are in uni and some of them have dropped out because its to stressful or the fees are to high. I am happy that i am doing something different. However when i want to apply for other teaching jobs they say they need a BA it kind of makes me feel bad.

Happy to hear any othr opinins or replys people may have.
Ezma
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I know what you mean Lee. Fair enough, some degrees qualify you to do certain jobs, however, often the requirement for recruitment is 'a' degree in any subject.
I do not have a degree and work in an industry where one is pretty much standard. I have got here by experience and a lot of luck, and feel that I am very good at my job.

I am now frustrated by wanting to move on to work at a higher level, and can't as I didn't spend three years studying god-knows-what 20 years ago when I was 18!

I've been lucky in that I have twice been given 'graduate' jobs without having a degree. In both cases, the person appointing me - my bosses - also came up through the 'school of life' and didn't have degrees.

I feel there is a lot of discrimination against people without degrees. Why should a degree in one subject qualify anyone to work in another field entirely. I agree that an English degree will be useful for an English teacher, but that is not what people ask for, they just want any degree.

When I was 16 I left school, as that was what most girls of my generation and social/financial background did. A very few did A Levels. Virtyally none went on to do degrees.

I am now trying to study part-time for a degree as that in itself seems to be opening a lot of doors for me, but I resent feeling that I have to do it, as it is extremely difficult to combine with working full-time and being a single parent. I would love the luxury of going to university full time, and I wish I had had the opportunity when I was younger.

A fluke of birth has narrowed my options massively and I do not believe that is right. I am an intelligent person. Should I be disregarded because of my background?
Dropping in late in this thread ... I would very much like to teach English to Health Personnel in a couple of years time, and to that end am planning on doing the CELTA soon. I have a medical qualification which - back in the mists of time when I did it, some 35 years ago - was not a degree. However, were I to study for the same qualification today, it would be a degree. Hence my qualification is considered "degree equivalent" in my profession. However - and it is a big "however" - it would seem from reading job ads that someone with a BA in Lee's theoretical basket weaving, and a CELTA, would be favoured over and above someone like me, with a professional medical qualification and further study/qualifications in my original profession, and a CELTA, even for teaching English for Medical Purposes. This to me is just plain WRONG - and could well be unethical.
Who can explain why it seems to be only a BA which is required? Are holders of a B.Ed, B.Econ or B.Sc considered unsuitable in some way - subversive, illiterate or worse?
Nona,

First of all, good luck with your studies.

We're now in a "credentialization" era, and yes, we're seeing degree inflatoin.

Back in the old days, if you wanted to work in a profession, you became an apprentice-- you learned on the job. But the only way to know how good you were was by word of mouth (ah, yes, and your portfolio, if you could keep one. ).

But with compulsory public education, everything has changed. We now institutionalize learning.
And that little diploma becomes something to go by, especially when employers receive floods of resume every day.

Whether degree holders are more qualified is subject to debate. With the Mcdonaldization of higher education, I've seen, in my hometown, many TESL degree holders who don't even speak the language well enough to teach it. And that's really the fault of the universities--they are more anxious to make money out of their students than to teach them right.

I hope my comment doesn't offend anyone.
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