I agree with Richard Willis ('Learning in the Classroom', April 2007) about the narrowness and conceptual shortcomings of the graduate teacher programme. Some advanced education in the history, sociology and methodology of education is desirable. How much is debatable. The Victorian idea of simultaneous practice and study for the Queen's Scholarship was an interesting model, but starting at age thirteen!
In the United States, until the mid-twentieth century, some states had two-year state teacher colleges for rural elementary training. Secondary teaching generally required more advanced training. Under President Kennnedy the Teacher Corps provided supplementary training to degreed persons, who were then assigned for probationary periods to rural and inner-city schools. There has often been a need for occasional or programmed subject expertise by adjunct teachers, particularly in subjects like mathematics and sciences.
F.S. La Croix
Des Moines, Iowa USA