We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
They are a waste only to people who either want to actually teach children something, who have school-age children or who have to pay for schools. To those who consider themselves our "lords and masters", they function just right, creating ignorance, a sense of entitlement and an incurable inability to learn. Perfect for those who believe they are somehow entitled rule over the rest of us.
I am currently in a graduate program to get a teaching credential (its the economy, stupid). I was led to believe that my previous years of experience in STEM would be taken in account for some of the credits required. But that has not been the case. I am expected to create power points and do literature review on subject matter that is 20 years past current to prove my "competency". I am told that all the students must be taught to their own special needs and abilities yet graded exactly the same. These educational leaders claim the field of education is the original genius at understanding human development and learning. I say it is a social "Frankenstein's monster." If you are not capable of home schooling your child be VERY involved in your school. Be very vigilant, very vocal and very suspicious.
I agree as well. Believe it or not, this "reflections" style of teaching is the new wave in STEM fields also. So glad I took a PhD in genetics to spend hours in insipid meetings discussing how to get students to reflect on biological concepts. My liver is paying the price.
The students are the primary reason I do it, so for me the answer is definitely yes. Most students are astute enough to see through most of the BS of academia, and that helps me maintain my sanity, such as it is. It also helps that I have an active research program involving students. It is a lot of work to continue research at a liberal arts college, but it gives me something I enjoy doing, and being recently tenured, I can opt out of the most insipid of the insipid meetings and spend my time in more productive endeavors. As with all jobs, there are trade-offs, but most days I don't consider what I'm doing to be work.
I was in a doctoral program in the College of Education at a Big 10 school. (A conference with 14 schools is the Big 10?) I told my professors of my uncle's carpal tunnel surgery. The left hand a scar 10 inches long. He asked about the right hand and the doctor said wait 6 months. Six months later he had the same surgery on the right hand with 3 scars for a total of 7 stitches. I asked if we would make that kind of breakthrough. The answer was "No."
There were professors who would not bother with reading a paper if they didn't like your references. Improperly citing an article from a journal with continuous pagination could reduce a paper grade from A to B. What a bunch of pompous, parading peacocks.
Ed Schools as currently constituted ARE a total waste of time. Instead of teaching prospective teachers WHAT HAS WORKED in 2500 years of formal classroom instruction, Ed Schools concentrate on two areas. First, Ed Schools focus on indoctrinating prospective teachers in the latest and greatest Politically Correct doctrine. Second, Ed Schools focus on developing and proselytizing THE NEXT GREAT THEORY THAT WILL EXPLAIN EVERYTHING IN EDUCATION, which will be discarded in five years time for the NEXT NEXT GREAT THEORY. Warning: the NEXT GREAT THEORY will be pushed on prospective teachers with little or no evidence that the NEXT GREAT THEORY actually works.
There is a need for pedagogy, as it is not intuitively obvious how to teach a given group of students a given subject. Unfortunately, Ed Schools consider mere pedagogy to be beneath them.
Ed Schools have been dysfunctional for a long, long time. When I had a short second career as a math teacher, I told my aunt, a retired teacher who went to Ed School in the 1930s, about the idiocies taught in Ed School. Her reply: so what else is new?