Subject matter expertise or pedagogy? Which matters more for a teacher? Arizona says subject matter matters, at least enough to allow the experts to teach with a mere modicum of training, according to the Arizona Republic:
Beginning this fall, working engineers and scientists will sign on as adjunct teachers in a new pilot program. These professionals can teach one class of calculus or algebra daily after 36 hours of teacher training and a background check. Unlike adjunct instructors in universities, professionals teaching in high schools will not get paid. The state calls the new volunteer program the “Adjunct Teachers Initiative. Arizona’s teachers union calls it insulting.
“What I see coming from the adjunct teaching proposal is that teaching isn’t really more than some kind of community service that you do when you’re feeling generous,” Andrew Morrill, vice president of the Arizona Education Association tells the paper.
On the other hand, I’d rather have the expert than an “emergency teacher” with no subject expertise, apparently Arizona’s most common response to a shortage.