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I feel like I don't deserve a job.

  • Thread starter turin
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  • #51
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It's also amazing how dismissive people in the sciences are of education departments.
To some extent, with good reason. You'd be amazed how totally useless many education classes are.

My wife decided to turn her back on computer science and become a high school math teacher a few years ago, so she returned to school to obtain her teaching credential. The majority of the course work seemed to involve making collages and posters and writing the occasional Politically Correct essay, none of which actually assisted her in the classroom in anyway.

The only worthwhile part of the program was the student teaching she had to do, and that was worth the entire cost of admission.
 
  • #52
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You'd be amazed how totally useless many education classes are.
This breaks my heart.

First we train our teachers using drivel and then we hand them useless courses to teach, too many students, not enough time, and no money.
 
  • #53
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cynical..
 
  • #54
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To some extent, with good reason. You'd be amazed how totally useless many education classes are.
I'm not. My wife is a teacher. On the other hand, there are a lot of useless math classes out there, but that doesn't mean that math is useless or that it can't be better taught. The attitude that people in the sciences have toward education and the humanities is a lot like that of a seventh grader that refuses to learn algebra because it seems useless, when in fact the problem is that they just have a bad teacher.

My attitude toward these sorts of things is that I assume that there is something useful behind what the teacher is saying, and if it's not obvious from what the teacher is teaching, then it's my responsibility to go to the library and find it.

The only worthwhile part of the program was the student teaching she had to do, and that was worth the entire cost of admission.
The reason that sort of thing is important is that once you have hands on experience, you can figure out what is useful and what isn't.
 
  • #55
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First we train our teachers using drivel and then we hand them useless courses to teach, too many students, not enough time, and no money.
My view is that this is part of the very skewed incentive system that academia has. One thing that is very strange is that people with actual direct teaching experience tend to end up at the bottom. If you are spending all your time teaching, you aren't going to have time or energy to write research papers on educational theory, which means that you aren't going to be in a position to teach.

This is also a huge problem in physics. Teaching is what first year graduate students do, and the incentives are such so that people are encouraged to get out of teaching as quickly as possible.

One thing that works really well is to redefine the role of the professor. In education and management classes that *do* work, the professor is not an instructor, but more of a moderator. The type of management courses that really do work are ones in which you put experienced managers and less experienced managers in a room, you bring in the professor to moderate the discussion and bring in some theory and the students learn from each other.
 
  • #56
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First we train our teachers using drivel and then we hand them useless courses to teach, too many students, not enough time, and no money.
And this is why education is hard, and educational theory, when properly taught, is quite useful. What makes a course "useful" and what makes a course "useless"? How do you send up structures so that you end up with mostly "useful" courses? Where is all of the money going to come from?
 
  • #57
turin
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The attitude that people in the sciences have toward education and the humanities is a lot like that of a seventh grader that refuses to learn algebra because it seems useless, when in fact the problem is that they just have a bad teacher.
It is ironic that the education teacher is a bad educator. I guess that's the application of the maxim, "If you can't do, teach," to teachers of eduction.
 
  • #58
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It is ironic that the education teacher is a bad educator.
It's ironic but it's not surprising. People in research universities just don't get tenure for their teaching abilities and that includes people in the education departments.

However, it's a mistake to assume that just because an education professor can't teach worth a darn doesn't mean that they know nothing. They could be totally brilliant at experiment design, in historical research, in ethnographic studies. Someone could be horrible in front of students, but put them in front of an Excel spreadsheet looking putting together budget and personnel requirements and they could be brilliant.

I guess that's the application of the maxim, "If you can't do, teach," to teachers of education.
I suppose the question is "do what?"
 

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