Maiming the Kids

Seven Day. Air temperature nicely lower. Almost brisk. Would have been a good walk save for the water wasters.

It being ice cream day I am hawgin’ a few tabs and so comments are in order.

Ran across an article [Link] entitled “Let grad students teach science to kids: Column” that set me to thinking. In particluar I was taken by the statement:

“Most K-5 teachers do not have adequate science training. This is understandable, because you don’t need a degree in a hard science such as chemistry to have the qualities desirable in elementary school teachers — compassion, patience and the ability to work with inattentive children. As a result, K-5 teachers often place more emphasis on the topics with which they are more familiar, such as reading and math.”

My first thought was that one may substitute “primary/secondary school” for “K-5”. In the last ten years I have met one that’s “1” – high schule teacher who had adequate training. He taught physical science in a private high schule and had a bachelor’s in physics from a state university and a supplementally obtained teaching certification. 

Now I don’t claim to meet a lot of public schule science teachers but I meet a few and the environment is dismal. They aren’t all as bad as the quack who had two semester of freshman service physics and was teaching AP physics in what passes in Alibam for a first rate high schule but almost all are bad enough to be harming the kids. 

Badly.

But I also admit that the idea of siccing grad students on primary and secondary students doesn’t strike me as good either. To use the old adage, grad students are supposed to be learning more and more about less and less. So having them teach wee bairns would be balancing. But it would also diverting and probably corrupting on both ends. So I can say I think we would be better off with primary students taught by educationalists who have better training and reserve the grad students for the secondary students.

But I still think we need to end the practice of secondary schule teachers being educationalists first and knowledgeable last. You can’t uplift students with ignorance.

Gad, we have a nation that is mostly shit. Good intentions do lead to tartarus.

 

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