You seem to be calling for "teacher education" as opposed to "teacher training." If so, I think this is an admirable goal for colleges of education. If we expect them to engender excellence in our students, then teachers should have more than the "codifed forms of knowledge" training seems to imply. "Training" teachers might give the the practical, day-to-day knowledge they need to do a basic job, but "educating" them gives them "the ineffable" knowledge needed to deal with human complexity.
Unlike the hard sciences, we in the social sciences possess no "first principles" upon which all other knowledge is based. Yet it is precisely that kind of knowledge that would be of most value in allowing teachers to determine the "best practices" in each individual situation. A fundamental understanding of what we do know about learning and cognition seems essential for deciding when to apply which instructional strategies. -S.H.
You've absolutely understood my thinking on education. I'm completely unsure of how one can hope to educate for wisdom (and skeptical that one can). Perhaps we create conditions in which it can be cultivated?
It's interesting that you would turn to the hard sciences for principles to apply. While I agree that many of these principles are key, my inclination would be to turn to the humanities, specifically, to the phenomenological and hermeneutic, as ways of helping teachers to cultivate an interpretive, contextual awareness of persons, situations, and content.
Steve Unfairly Responds Again:
I don't mean that we should use the content knowledge of hard science principles, only that we should use the example of having first principles as a foundation for everything else. And even then, we are a long way from having true first principles in the social sciences. We probably never will. But we can at least have a firm understanding of foundation knowledge and its application.