Brouhaha in CA

bmartin at bmartin at
Wed Feb 4 13:50:48 EST 1998

In article <l03102802b0f77663c963@[]>, Mary Ann Sesma
<msesma at> wrote:

> <The Nobel credential alone isn't enough to convince me that
> a particular group of scientists is qualified to set K-12 standards. <
> Well at least they are a bit smarter than the first year BS teacher who has
> majored in PE. and teaches Biology as a result of having just enough
> credits in Bio to qualify for a credential , passed CBEST (which is a joke
> in my mind)  and is learning pedagogy after hours

This is extremely insulting.  Why would you assume that first year BS
teachers would be developing the standards.

> <Is it completely fair to assume that scientists
> >who've been trained in lab work and who've spent a large portion of
> >their lives behind a bench or a computer screen are so much more
> >qualified to do this than are people who've trained in education?
> I  recognize your premise.  But--when you have supervised student teachers
> in science for a very long time and see the deficit in training done by the
> universities there is a  serious problem.   Witness all the national and
> local reform educational activities .

These are both valid points.  Both would be satisfied by having scientists
who are actyively teaching involved, not the listed group of Nobel
laureates.  Seaborg likely has been out of the class room for many years. 
Baltimore likewise, particularly his years at Rockefeller.  

The point is not that scientists should not be ivolved.  The point is that
this was a POOR group of scientists to be involved.
>  I had the unusual and wonderful experience of spending two summers in the
> lab of  Dr. Willard F. Libby (Nobel Chem 1960) at UCLA  Not only was he a
> wonderful gentleman, but he  approached science and teaching as a holistic
> concept.- that was well before educational reform.    I only wish I had
> been able to absorb more.  Libby was a scientist but was a teacher.

Fine, but find others like him.  Don't accept the mediocre for the lack of
trying to identify candidates.

B. Martin

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