Volume 91, Issue 38

Wednesday, November 5, 1997

Nip it in the bud


Teaching the art of teaching

Re: Teachers have no business striking, Oct. 31

To the Editor:

I am not going to write about the politics of Bill 160. The issue that concerned me when reading The Gazette last Friday, was with Mr. Andrusyshyn's comment "Why do you need a teaching certificate to teach physical education and music?" Where did you come from? I am sure most of the students at the Faculty of Kinesiology, who are thinking about going in to the education field, would disagree with your comment. I know all my friends in the Faculty of Music do. I am not sure if there is a program at our university "Bachelor of Science Education." I know for a fact you can you can get a Bachelor of Music Education. Why do we have a program that is directed mainly for the education field in music? I would say music must be special in some way and it shows that the Faculty of Music is concerned to prepare students to teach music, more than any other program offered at the university.

Why do you need a teaching certificate to teach music? I am sure most to the university think music is some "bird course" similar to basket weaving. How wrong you are. I personally have 25 hours of classes and that does not include personal practice time. In music education courses, we learn all the instruments of the orchestra, how to conduct, physiology of music education, philosophy of music education. All of these courses are designed to make us the best people to teach music. But one thing we are not taught here is the practical work in the classroom which is why we go to teachers' college.

Mr. Andrusyshyn mentioned bringing "professionals" to the classroom. One of the things we learned in music education is that we can not teach anyone. That's right, no one can teach anyone! All we can do is motivate people to learn. How do you do that? I would suggest you take some education courses. Most "professionals" are good in their own disciplines, but that does not mean they can communicate their ideas or knowledge in a way that is interesting or understandable to a student. Another issue we are taught is how to deal with large groups, be it a classroom or an orchestra. Most "professionals" would be at a loss dealing with large class sizes and the politics that are involved with the administration of the school.

Mr. Andrusyshyn, I think you should get informed before you make comments you obviously know nothing about.

Paul Williams
Honours Music IV

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Copyright The Gazette 1997