high school teachers

Dianna L. Bourke dlb17 at PSU.EDU
Tue Mar 19 20:22:57 EST 1996

Irene wrote,
>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.

I totally agree with this concept about "juicy stuff." My students are
freshman undergraduates (barely beyond high school) and they ask questions
that routinely stump me. And I have a Ph.D, five years of postdoctoral
experience and about 10 years combined teaching anatomy and physiology.
Students give you a fresh perspective on so many questions. Often I have
gone to a textbook to look up an answer for them, then another and another,
each more in depth and technical. What you gradually realize is that
nothing is known about the mechanism or it is currently under research and
the answer can only be gleaned from some highly technical journal articles.
How could an undergraduate education major wade through these things to get
to the "juicy stuff"? You can only say "I don't know" to your students so
many times before they begin to lose confidence and interest.

PS Thanks for all the responses to this question. For a while I thought no
one was interested. Were you all on spring break?? Hope you had a good

Dianna Bourke

Dianna L. Bourke
Penn State Hazleton

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