high school teachers

Irene Chen ichen at HUSC.HARVARD.EDU
Fri Mar 15 19:24:27 EST 1996

On 15 Mar 1996, Ellen M Klann wrote:

> I hope I never see the day when high school science teachers need an 
> advanced degree.  This is crazy!  Why should some do several years past 
> college to teach basic science?  Certainly everything a high school 

I have to disagree with this; having just graduated from high school, I
think that at least an advanced degree in a particular field says that the
teacher has mastered it. Of course a biology major who teaches biology
will be excellent, but the trouble is that many high school teachers teach
a subject they are not familiar with; I've heard about P.E. teachers
teaching calculus because they were the only teachers at the school who
could vaguely remember it, not because they were the ones who had 
mastered it.

Naturally this is more of a problem with the unattractiveness of high
school teaching to college grads, but nevertheless it is disappointing for
a student to inquire into a subject and discover that a teacher really
doesn't know much outside of the textbook. (And alot of the time, the
stuff outside of the textbook is the really juicy stuff.) So although I
agree that a college ed is fine, that alone isn't enough; a major or 
minor in the given field would be nice too.

just a thought,
Harvard U.

P.S. I should add that I'm really grateful to my own high school teachers 
(obviously this email was about generalities), who did know lots of juicy 
stuff outside of the textbook. Kudos to LJHS!

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