OT: Democracy in Action

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Wrong. THat's the only "magic". Everything else is natural.

Try teaching HS kids math without understanding math. Ditto physics....

You've already made it clear that you're rather hire a "professional teacher" who knows nothing of the subject matter. You're wrong. That's what we have.

Utter nonsense.

I have! Are you an English teacher? ;-)

You 100% wrong about everything you've said so far. ...particularly about me.
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Try teaching *anything* if you can't communicate it clearly. Let me know how well that works for you.
Let's do a thought experiment. For the purposes of the experiment, we will stipulate that you have expert knowledge of chemistry, and that you speak, understand, read, and write only Polish, and no other language. Your assignment is to teach high school chemistry in Birmingham, Alabama.
How helpful is that expert knowledge of chemistry in teaching a classroom full of students who can't understand anything you say?
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On Wed, 17 Aug 2011 00:57:07 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@example.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Try teaching *anything* you know nothing about. Let me know how that works out for you.

Reverse it.
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I never contended otherwise. You, on the other hand, contended that knowledge of the subject was the only necessary attribute to be able to teach.

So you think that you'd be able to teach that class -- after all, you have expert knowledge of the subject, and (according to you) that's all that's necessary.
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Doug Miller wrote:

Consider the "teaching experience" of a retired, Ph.D. chemical engineer, who, by law, is deemed incompetent to teach in the public schools.
He's got 20 years experience as a student in a classroom. As a grad student, he most likely has at least four years experience teaching undergraduate students in basic college chemistry, organic chemistry, and quantitative analysis.
As head of a commercial lab for, say, ten years, he's had to keep up with professional publications and teach the newer techniques to his subordinates.
It is incredible to believe he can't muddle through high school chemistry (or, for that matter physics, algebra, and other math courses).
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"Doug Miller" wrote in message Let's do a thought experiment. For the purposes of the experiment, we will stipulate that you have expert knowledge of chemistry, and that you speak, understand, read, and write only Polish, and no other language. Your assignment is to teach high school chemistry in Birmingham, Alabama.
How helpful is that expert knowledge of chemistry in teaching a classroom full of students who can't understand anything you say?
=========== University Professors are typically prime examples of that concept at work. It works there, barely. Sometimes their tape players are hard to understand in a classroom of 500 students too.
--
Eric


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snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

I'm sorry, if I forgot certain personal details that you shared. Among details I don't try hard to remember are peoples ages, for instance. AFAIC, everyone here is either young or young at heart.
Bill
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[...]

Absolutely untrue. That is only half the battle.
Two things are required in order to be able to teach: 1) Adequate knowledge of the subject matter 2) The ability to communicate that knowledge effectively
The latter category includes being able, when necessary, to explain the concept in more than one way. When students experience difficulty grasping a new concept, they often find it difficult to express exactly what it is that they don't understand, or why they don't understand it. The best teachers are those who can see where the students are having difficulty, and guide them past the trouble spots. All this is part of communicating knowledge effectively -- if I explain a concept in terms that are perfectly clear to *me* but unclear to *you*, I have not communicated effectively. Moreover, if the concept is unclear to you, you probably do not know *why*. It's up to me to figure out why my explanation was unclear, and recast it in terms that will be clear to you. If I cannot do this, my communication will continue to be ineffective.
A person may be the leading expert in the universe on a particular subject, but if he is unable to communicate that knowledge clearly to another person, he *cannot* be an effective teacher.
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On Wed, 17 Aug 2011 00:12:18 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@example.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

No, you really have to know it. You'll find out quickly enough how little you really know when you have to teach the subject.

He cannot be an effective teacher if he doesn't know the material, either. That's what we have with "professional teachers".
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It's not necessary to possess expert knowledge of a subject in order to teach it. The ability to communicate what knowledge one has, is far more important to effective teaching than the extent of one's knowledge. If I can communicate clearly what I know about a particular subject, then what I can teach you about it is limited only by the extent of my knowledge -- and if I know everything there is to know about that subject, but cannot communicate it, I can't teach you a damn thing.

That, of course, is obvious. I was responding to your contention that that was *all* that was required. Anyone who has taught for even one semester knows that's not the case.

Correction: that's what we have with *some* professional teachers.
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---------------------------------------------------- Talk about total BULL SHIT.
Lew
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On 8/16/2011 7:12 PM, Doug Miller wrote:

No kidding ... and 2 above leads to the other requirement: ability to motivate the student.
IME, that is the "magic" part ... some have it some don't, and those that do will magically transform an unmotivated student into a motivated student.
I know, because it happened to me. AAMOF, 63 years since starting school, I still remember the names of those few who exercised that "magic" on me ... the rest are not even a blurred memory.
--
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On 8/14/2011 10:44 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Sounds like you got in on the beginning of the end ... ;0>
You know who taught the two undergraduate physics courses I took in college?
Clarence Zener, the Dean of the College of Science at that time at Texas A&M University ... he personally taught both those undergraduate courses, as did the department heads in Chemistry and Mathematics.
DAGS Dr Zener ...
Apparently students today have no chance of deriving the benefit from having a physicist of that eminence teach undergraduate classes. At one time it was an accepted practice.
Sorry, but IMO it's just more of the same with regard to the systematic slide into mediocrity that is creeping into all levels of education in this country.
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I think that we are forgetting that scientific brilliance as recognized in various ways does not guarantee teaching excellence. Overbeek was great both as scientist and teacher (Physical Chemistry, Utrecht), van Deenen (Biochemistry, Utrecht) another. But the guy teaching Nuclear Physics was a joke. Although, the syllabus was fine, and he read a chapter every lecture, just about literally, advancing the overhead projector's endless copy of the syllabus.
--
Best regards
Han
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On 8/15/2011 10:07 AM, Han wrote:

Sure there will some exceptions ... but just try to convince Plato and Xenophon of the benefits of rent-a-profs!
:)
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No, my father was a prof and I have three brothers who are a decade older than I. This is nothing new. Slave labor has always been cheap.

We had bigs in the Chemistry and Physics departments teach the 10x level courses, too. 500 students in a lecture hall at a time. What a disaster.

Know the name.

The 499 other seats canceled any possible benefit of the eminence of the prof. My second semester of Chemistry (organic) I chose a section with no lecture, rather four quiz sections with an instructor; a *far* better solution.

If it's a slide, nothing has changed for over 50 years.
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On 8/15/2011 10:16 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Nothing has changed for over 50 years?
Really?
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In that regard, not really. Just more of the same.

Really. My father died in '65. He had the same sorts of issues with his employer (a top university). The problem then was professors who didn't teach and the flood of Indian graduate student teaching assistants and instructors who couldn't speak English. Not a lot of difference.
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On Tue, 16 Aug 2011 17:54:22 -0500, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

^ and Chinese

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Depends on where you live. Our kids went to catholic school in Philly. When we moved to CT, we enrolled them in the catholic school here. Big mistake. Got them out before there minds rotted from lack of use. While the public school was still not up the our standards, it was much better than the catholic school. There are also two private schools in the area, but tuition is more than most colleges.
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