Saturday, November 15, 2008

About a recent comment on an old post

This post about failing Praxis II the first time has a new comment. I just wanted to state my opinion on the Praxis. I understand some people are not good test takers for various reasons. However, I do feel that we need a way to measure teachers' competency. The Praxis I is the first line of defense against people who are not knowledgeable enough to be teachers. At my university, there are two ways for students to enter the education program. One is to pass Praxis I. The other way is to receive a bachelor's degree. Students actually get their degree to get around having to take the Praxis. That is ridiculous. Praxis I is easier than the SAT!
Then there's Praxis II. In NC right now it is not required that secondary teachers and special subject teachers take Praxis II. It is required for elementary school teachers to take Praxis II. Yes, I failed it the first time, but only slightly. It wasn't because I'm not knowledgeable. I just didn't know what was required in the essay portion. The second time I did wonderfully because I knew what was expected. A class could prepare a student for the test as well as trying the test one time. You may even pass the first time! In my opinion teachers should have to take Praxis II to be fully licensed. Truthfully, I don't want someone teaching my child who could not pass Praxis I, much less Praxis II dealing with their subject content!
As for all those struggling, I'm sorry for your trouble. I hope you will try again and simply study. I didn't know many of the artists listed in the history section, but I knew enough. Don't feel discouraged having to take it twice. Understand that you will be teaching and you are to be as knowledgeable as you can. Of course you can study and prepare for lessons, as teachers should, but you should also have studied quite a bit through college. If your college didn't prepare you to take Praxis II, but is giving you a degree, you have been done a disservice. What I mean by "not preparing you" is you don't have the content knowledge from college classes to pass the Praxis II without a lot of additional studying and memorizing.

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