There is a widely held view that education majors aren’t the best college students when it comes to academic ability. A factoid on the subject follows, but in thinking about the data we need to ask just what we mean by “best.” Should we hope that future teachers are above average at academics, or is it good enough if they aren’t worse than the average college student?
The Baccalaureate and Beyond study collected SAT scores (or ACT scores which they translated to SAT score equivalents) for college students graduating in 2008. Here’s how education majors stacked up to the average student.
Education majors are bunched a little more toward the middle than are college students more generally, with slightly fewer falling in the top or bottom quartiles. But overall, education majors don’t look terribly different than other students in terms of how they did on their SAT’s. Whether this is worrying or reassuring depends on whether you think teaching is a profession that requires above average academic ability or not.
Next time, a somewhat different score breakdown in which education majors fare a bit worse.
Update: I now think the numbers in upper quartile box are flakey. An update appears in a later post.