Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Emerging Leader: Rounding out Teaching and Leadership with Research

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Emerging Leader: Rounding out Teaching and Leadership with Research

Article excerpt

Since 1998, Daniel J. Quinn has been an economics and social studies teacher at Grosse Pointe North High School, Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. But a year ago, he stepped up to become the part-time executive director of Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice, a provider of education research intended for teachers. He's also served on the board of directors for the National Education Association and the Michigan Education Association. He's been a track and field and cross country coach. He also is a 2013 PDK Emerging Leader. Recently, Quinn answered some questions from Kappan.

There's been much focus on improving teaching via college training and bringing in mid-career professionals. From your vantage point, what are some of the most important changes that would improve teaching?

Some of my closest personal friends are second-career teachers who have switched from a variety of experiences to the classroom. Mid-career teachers bring real-world experiences and expand and enhance teaching as a profession. However, all of these teachers have had solid educational training and have gone through rigorous certification programs. I don't believe in alternative certificates for nontraditional educators. All educators need the pedagogical background of going through a school of education before entering a classroom. Teaching is not and cannot be allowed to be a way station en route to another career. If I could make one change that would improve teaching, it would be to hold all preparation programs--college-based and fast-track--to a high standard, never letting an inexperienced teacher learn "on the fly." Teacher preparation programs need to ensure that teachers are prepared to enter the classroom and be excellent teachers on day one. …

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