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Letter: Neglecting teacher training is shortsighted

To the Editor:

I read the article about the suspension of the elementary Masters of Arts in Teaching program with a great deal of regret for many reasons. As a former administrator of both the elementary and secondary MAT programs, I was proud of the work and the dedication demonstrated by the professors who designed and nurtured the programs and the wonderful program alums who would eventually guide good practices in the public and private education systems. The joy of developing the art of teaching could one day be our future.

I had hoped that the University would understand and guide this mission, but over the years it has dismissed the real need for such programs in favor of the more lucrative — and also important — scholarship of their other programs and departments.

There is a certain short-sightedness in refusing to recognize the important place that teachers of students in secondary and elementary schools play in the building of a society. Conceit of scholarship and tradition sometimes blur the need for such practical programs that do not bring immediate dignity and notoriety to the University with large and fancy grants. What it has done quietly over the years is hone a small army of brilliant teachers who have gone out into the trenches and made a real difference. I do not say that all the other important work the University is doing should not be applauded and recognized, just that the art of teaching the young should stand out as a sacred goal for all universities and especially Brown.

Yvette Nachmias-Baeu

Former administrator, elementary and secondary MAT programs


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