So I promised I would post a follow-up to my Praxis post. I checked my Score Report and it turns out I was correct, unfortunately. I passed within the top 15% of all test-takers with a raw score of a 39 out of 50 on the exam. I needed a scaled-score of 141 to teach in Maryland and actually received a 169. Bottom line: for this particular exam, people could have received as low as a raw score of 30 out of 50 and still received a passing score on this teacher certification exam. That is SCARY to me!
But then I thought about it further and related it to the discrepancies that America is facing in terms of Math and Science. Did my high school teachers in a upper-middle class school system have a grasp on mathematical concepts? Ehh, debatable. Now for the question that matters: Did they impart the necessary knowledge to me? Answer: I think so?
So who knows what the Praxis actually measures and if it matters that people pass it with flying colors. I think all that matters is that you pass, because it demonstrates the minimum amount of knowledge required. Despite the fact that the majority of public school teachers in America may not have the strongest grasp of mathematics, they function as instructors, not teachers. In other words, they could read up on the theories and concepts behind triangles the night before their lesson and instruct accordingly the next day. That is how many teachers operate and THAT is why people are behind. It’s a marginal process that does not allow for a more than average grasp of understanding. The only way for an instructor to become a teacher is to have a near complete understanding or grasp on the concept they are teaching. That’s just common sense, though. Too bad it is a tool many are lacking.
So I feel as though it is necessary to take it upon myself to continue learning the concepts I will be teaching to a depth that will allow me to go above and beyond in the classroom. It may work for many teachers in the education system currently, but I do not feel as though I will be giving the best to my students if I myself do not understand the concepts beyond a certain level.