Author Topic: We need comprehensive, honest-to-goodness teachers' training all across levels  (Read 11562 times)


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I'm sorry to say this but the state of education and teaching in the country today has gotten worse. The graduates are not armed with the right and sufficient tools for work. So, we shouldn't be surprised if there are many out there who are unemployable.

I had taught in the University for five years, and the common problem with my students was that they lacked comprehension skills. They could not understand even the basic instructions. I couldn't blame them. Why? When I asked them, how they were taught in high school/grade school, they would go, "our teachers were just mouthing the words written on our textbooks. There was no effort to help us understand or teach us how to understand the lessons."

Can we blame the teachers? Not really. It's actually a vicious cycle. The teachers were not taught how to teach nor they had the knowledge to impart. How can they teach what they do not know in the first place?

To remedy this, I believe in a comprehensive, honest-to-goodness teachers' training all across levels. I even think that a more vigorous training is needed for pre-school, grade school, and high school teachers. The re-training, as others put it, should start with a needs analysis, of course. But if I had to give my two cents on this training, it should be grounded heavily on comprehension skills (What do they know? Do they understand what they know?), then on to the communication skills (How are they going to impart what they know effectively?).   
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 01:52:09 AM by Joe Carillo »


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Here is an editorial in the leading journal Science (4 Sept 2009) that has shown improved science teaching in some U.S. schools. Email me for full text:

Galvanizing Science Departments
by Carl Wieman

Countless reports have stressed the economic and broad societal benefits to be gained from improved science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for all students. At the higher education level, there is extensive evidence that innovative teaching methods improve student learning and are practical to implement. Yet these methods remain at the periphery, and the traditional lecture model continues to dominate, particularly at large research universities. This fact poses a major problem for improving science education at all levels, because these institutions generally set the norms for how to teach science and what it means to learn science. To effectively change STEM education at the university level, a majority of the faculty in a given university department must become collectively engaged in implementing new curricula and teaching methods. In other words, an entire department must be the unit of change.

Carl Wieman is a professor of physics and Director of Science Education Initiatives at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, and the University of Colorado, Boulder, CO. He is a Nobel laureate in physics.