>From: "J. R. Molloy" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: US Science Education Sucks
>Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2001 06:05:46 -0700
>to the first grade. Teachers would have to be literate in science, and kids
>would have to find learning science as cool as following the fortunes of
>groups. That's an awful lot to ask for. But then again, only our future
>depends on it.
I don't think this person has ever done any long term teaching in the public
schools. I am a former teacher, and my experience shows that the people who
make the best teachers are those who are the least educated. The "smart"
ones, the ones who are interested in science, usually leave the profession
rather quickly (because they get tired of the abuse). In fact, the empirical
evidence shows (at the empirical evidence to which *I* have access) that the
halflife of a teacher's career is inversely proportional to his/her IQ.
At least that was the case at both schools at which I taught. Of all the
teachers who came into teaching when I did, the only ones still teaching are
those who are the least academic. And I mean, they are not really
academically inclined at *all*.
You see, because of various factors, teachers now have little institutional
authority. So therefore, their authority mainly derives from personal
relationships with other people: the students; the principal/vice principal;
If you want a good teacher, find a "people" person, one with excellent
communications skills, especially in the area of body language and voice
control (an actor might be a good teacher).
If you want a physicist, find a "book/idea" person. The intersection of
these two sets is vanishingly small.
A people person spent a lot of time with other people in his/her formative
years. A book/idea person spent a lot of time with *books* in his/her
So now you see how wrong is "conventional wisdom" regarding "what is wrong
with our schools."
The main problem is that kids are even less rational than adults. Therefore
in order to teach, one needs control. And the erosion of teacher authority
means that personal relationships are the key even being *able* to do *any*
teaching, never mind the science pipe dreams....
BTW, status relationships are crucial in the classroom.
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