Home / A & C / An education degree is basically an arts and crafts degree

An education degree is basically an arts and crafts degree

Author: destiny kaus | production manager

Education
Photo Credit: Justy Cin MD on Flickr

Just kidding, poster projects are actually super legit.

 

Alright people, who’s all in the education program at the University of Regina? Not me! Not me! Why? ‘Cause all students do in the education program is make posters, which is conclusive to learning zero about teaching. Just kidding. But kind of not kidding. Don’t get me wrong, I think the education program is pretty dang effective and useful for those who want to become teachers. I was even in the education program for a few years before I decided. I really do not want to spend every waking moment of my life either teaching in a room full of small humans or taking up my workout time to grade papers.

Now, let me tell you, from my experience in the education program, the professors and the material taught were all fairly legit. Sarah Campbell, a fifth-year secondary education student here at the U of R with a major in math and a minor in inclusive education, has had a wonderful experience in the ed. program.

“It’s been great,” Campbell states. “For the most part, the ed. professors are great, and they really want you to learn from them.”

Huzzah! Yay for awesome profs! However, though the education program and professors may kick butt, education students have to spend a ton of time making sick posters for final projects. So, they’re basically getting a degree in arts and crafts.

In her years as an education student, Campbell has made approximately three or four posters. However, according to Campbell, their projects have “mostly moved to technology-based presentation strategies now.”

So, instead of having to spend countless hours of hard labour on poster projects, ed. students must now spend countless hours of hard labour on poster projects AND various other presentations on Prezi or PowerPoint. Sad. And, let’s be honest. A Prezi or PowerPoint is practically still a poster…it’s just a poster on a computer. Such fun with all the posters in education!

But, believe it or not, although the act of poster-making doesn’t really benefit education students unless they’re majoring in Fine Arts or something artsy like that, posters are actually quite useful, and they actually teach you something that an exam or a final paper may not. For example, Campbell is a math major. If she were to write a final exam or final paper in one of her education math classes, she’d be screwed.

“A math paper would be terribly boring to read,” Campbell states.

I agree. Might as well replace papers and exams with posters then right?! Right!

“I think, for the most part, it’s really hard to express what you’ve learned about teaching, whether it be assessment methods, teaching strategies, or differentiation, etc. in an exam,” says Campbell. “I mean, if they asked you ‘what is the teaching strategy where teachers stand at the board and teach to students,’ your answer would be lecture, or stage on stage…kind of lame. So, instead, professors ask you to present all the information you can on a certain topic. It just makes more sense. Also, why not get your future teachers to practice standing in front of a group of people expelling all the knowledge they have. It’s good practice.”

Boom! There ya have it, education students: get that teaching practice with those posters, and put that arts and crafts degree to good use! Just to clarify, I don’t actually view an education degree as an arts and crafts degree…I just find it incredibly entertaining to think of it in that light ‘cause of how much time and effort ed. students spend crafting their perfect poster.

With that said, how much work goes into one of these posters?

“SO. MUCH. WORK,” Campbell states. “It has to look fantastic! Plus, I’m a perfectionist, so everything has to be juuuuuust right. Even now, doing presentations, every slide has to be visually appealing. I mean, would you pay attention to a slide show that looks like it came out of the 1920s? Probably not. Spending time making it look good is going to encourage your audience to look at it at least once.”

Again, I agree! Who wants to look at a crappy poster? No one! Gotta make that stuff look dang good or no one will find your poster attractive, no one will listen to your poster presentation ‘cause they’ll be so distracted by how crappy and ineffective your poster is, and no one will give you a good mark. Therefore, students must put a crap-ton of time, money, and effort into making a prime poster. However, poster making isn’t all glitter, rainbows, and happiness.

As Campbell states, her least favourite part about making a poster is, “GLUE!!!!!!”

See? Those arts and crafts classes can be pretty messy. But, the entire process of poster-making can also be quite enjoyable.

Campbell goes on to say that her favourite part about making a poster is “going to Dollarama and seeing what kind of stuff I can buy to make my poster look the best. You’ve gotta jazz that shit up.”

I wholeheartedly agree. Dollarama is boss. So, if making a poster as part of your education degree allows you to peruse the aisles of Dollarama, life is good. I mean, seriously, if it wasn’t for the artsy, crafty side of the education program, Dollarama would probably go out of business.

Anyway, back to the education program. Unfortunately, although posters are actually a useful, somewhat fun part of the education program, this program does have its flaws in other areas.

“Sometimes there’s a lot of repetition in ed. classes,” says Campbell. “They cover a lot of material over and over again. Also, students without an Inclusive ed. minor don’t learn anything about it until their pre-internship semester.”

Well, that sucks now, doesn’t it? Yup. Maybe if someone in the education program made a poster about these topics, these issues could be resolved.

But, hold up for a second. Despite these few drawbacks and the negative connotations that come along with being an arts and crafts degree, the education program really does kick butt in numerous ways.

“…We get out into a school during our first year,” Campbell states. “There are other ed. programs in the province that don’t allow you to get into a school until your third or fourth. So, if you decide teaching isn’t for you, you’ve pretty much wasted three or four years of your life.”

Preach it sister. I know for me, getting into a school my first year in education, though it had some magical moments, it showed me that I really do not want to spend my entire life in a classroom. And, I will forever be grateful to the education program for getting me into a school early, because it ended up saving me from a lot of wasted time, stress, and heartache…and poster projects.

About Ella Mikkola

4 comments

  1. So I understand that the purpose of the article is to get under the skin of us Ed students, but I do have one problem with this. Education is a profession that already has a bad reputation because of a few bad eggs (mainly from the US education system that we transfer to Canadian teachers for some reason) so we struggle on a day-to-day basis as it is to get students in areas such as business, engineering, medicine, law, etc. to view us as professionals equal to them. Think our jobs not as important as a doctor or a lawyer? Whose training the doctors and lawyers that will take care of your children right now? Hmmmm. Just because we won’t make as much money as them, people think we’re ‘dumb’. They see us as inferior. People only good for ‘arts and crafts’ if you will. So when you write this, even though it is not intended to be serious, there are people outside of the education field that will see this, laugh, and agree with everything you wrote. What would be nice to see is an article comparing the efforts of an education student and a business or engineering student during their respective practicum’s. During mine for example, being someone who likes to take care of myself, I managed to get to the gym just 3 times in the final 2 months. Along with spending my day in a school filled with energetic rebellious angels, I was planning in the evening for 30 students that ranged from students above their grade level to students who were about 8 grade levels back. Keep in mind, that was just one of the classes I had to prep for. Oh, and don’t forget marking because that’s every teachers favourite thing (insert sarcasm sign here). Teaching may not pay well, but it’s dam hard work and should get the respect it deserves. I mean, if it wasn’t for good teachers, all of us wouldn’t know how to make much more than a poster or a prezi, right?

  2. Hey Bryan, thanks for your input! We are currently transitioning to a Facebook based comments system. In the future look just under the article to comment with Facebook!

    -Carillon Technical Team

  3. As a third year education student who has worked her freaking ass off to get where she is, you should be ashamed for writing this article. You obviously switched pretty early off because I invite you to come plan some lessons with us, it takes hours upon hours of planning and then additional time critiquing everything that you have done after its taught. You only have the job that you do because of your teachers, and yet you’re pretty much bashing them for the degree that they have chosen. I’m not usually one to get really involved on specific topics but just thought you’d like to know that you have not only offended many hard working education students but also many hard working professors who also put in many hours teaching their students to be the best educators that they can.

  4. Maybe you should look into better writers… Someone who is supposedly majoring in English and focusing on creative writing has the poorest writing skills I’ve seen in a long time. Maybe you should focus on your schooling more then acting like a snotty brat attempting to be witty and insulting people.