Passion, or lack thereof, in ed schools

I've been reading David Labaree's The Trouble with Ed Schools for my late-night reading material because I am passionate about improving the quality of teacher education. OK, I'm passionate about education in general and expect people going into the profession to be so also. Alas.

A friend and I were chatting yesterday about the people we knew in various teacher prep programs. Unfortunately, most of them majored in ed because they 1) needed a fallback if they couldn't make money doing what they really wanted to do 2) they had to choose something 3) like teaching well enough but only plan on doing so a few years until they have children.

None of these are bad reasons in themselves, and I don't fault these individuals, but it demonstrates the low status that Labaree demonstrates U.S. society gives to ed schools. Would anyone go to law school as a fallback? nursing school? (Ed school is often compared to nursing and social work schools, so I think that one is a particularly valid question.)

I asked someone who went to Truman if anyone she knew didn't feel passionately about teaching. Nope. Nobody there majored in education because they didn't know what else to do. Perhaps this is because Truman did away with awarding a bachelor's in education, so the students are planning on a five-year program. The purpose may be to strengthen the academics, but the side benefit may be to strengthen the education program. Passionate students improve classes.

Washington University is now also moving to a master's only program.