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Scott Horstman
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Reged: 03/11/04

Loc: Here, There and Everywhere
Boring Science Teachers new
      #5645064 - 01/26/13 08:19 PM

I wish my science teachers had taken a few notes from Richard Feynman.

http://www.wimp.com/explainedscience/


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llanitedave
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: Scott Horstman]
      #5645271 - 01/26/13 11:18 PM

Maybe they wrote HIM notes, suggesting he try 10-20-30.

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Scott Horstman
Vendor - Backyard Observatories
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Reged: 03/11/04

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Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5645286 - 01/26/13 11:28 PM

Naaa, they were too busy being boring.......... and expecting students to learn chemistry, geology, physics from reading text and doing work sheets while they sat at their desks pretending to grade papers the whole period.

This is high school I'm referring to BTW. I knew everything already when I was 18 anyhow so I didn't go to college. I decided to join the Army.

Edited by Scott Horstman (01/26/13 11:40 PM)


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gavinm
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/26/05

Loc: Auckland New Zealand
Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: Scott Horstman]
      #5646162 - 01/27/13 02:26 PM

That's not teaching, it's lecturing

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Rick Woods
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Reged: 01/27/05

Loc: Inner Solar System
Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: gavinm]
      #5646170 - 01/27/13 02:31 PM

Well, be fair: Taking up teaching as a profession doesn't make someone a good teacher. It's the difference between a house painter and a gifted artist. Sometimes you get both; but usually not.
This shouldn't reflect badly on those others who are out there trying, though. A set of skills isn't the same as gift. You use what you've got.


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MikeBOKC
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Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5646219 - 01/27/13 03:00 PM

I have taught adjunct at the community college level (English and speech) for more than 20 years. I enjoy doing it (the money is not that significant) and I have some rules for myself which include being on my feet and engaged throughout the class. Some years ago between jobs I signed on as a substitute at the local public school district and spent a semester rotating through just about every class in the building, and I have to say I was appalled at the lackadasical approach to teaching I witnessed in probably two-thirds of the classes.

In class after class and subject after subject it was "read the text, do the worksheet, watch the video, repeat." These were not just lessons interjected for the day when there was a substiture, but the norm. I asked kids in class after class and they told me yes, they did this drudgery every day. One English class watched videos three days a week. The kids knew there was no point in actually reading Ivanhoe because they were sure to see the movie.

The few good teachers were obvious -- even with a sub on hand there were high expectations, challenging assigments and rigorous standards, and most of the students responded by working and learning. It became apparent to me that the teaching profession has morphed into a punch-the-clock, collect the pension workaday job for many. Of course some of the worst were coaches. But looking back 40 years to my own school days (in this same district) there was no comparison. We used to have teachers in most rooms; now they have drones.

If kids are no longer excited by science it is likely because they have a wholly unexciting teacher. Garbage in, garbage out . . .


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Glassthrower
Vendor - Galactic Stone & Ironworks
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Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5646337 - 01/27/13 04:13 PM

In hindsight, some of my best and favorite teachers were science teachers. In particular, a Physical Sciences teacher in 8th grade made a big impression on me. Sadly, I cannot recall his name at the moment. He was also a beekeeper. He made science interesting and exciting. Lots of hands-on demonstrations and trips outside the classroom. In fact, some of things he did would be frowned up on today, such as the time he dropped a sizeable piece of pure sodium into a 5-gallon bucket of water.

Another favorite of mine was my Marine Biology teacher from 12th grade - Mr. Ted Adams. He was there for 21 years and passed away from cancer in 2006. He used just the right amount of humor (some of it very anti-establishment) that made cutting up frogs and fish seem like fun - in addition to teaching us things that actually "stuck".

My 10th grade Biology teacher Mr. Gumm was also a great teacher from the old-school vein. He was a task-master, but a brilliant teacher and I still remember his lessons.

I just hope the kids today still have some teachers like that around.


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Scott Horstman
Vendor - Backyard Observatories
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Re: Boring Science Teachers [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5647826 - 01/28/13 11:05 AM

Quote:

A set of skills isn't the same as gift. You use what you've got.







I can't disagree but many of the teachers I had could have at least shown a little enthusiasm. Tough to expect the kids to excel if the instructor acts as if he doesn't want to be there.

The classes that were taught by motivated individuals and the lessons they gave regardless of subject are the ones I remember to this day.


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FirstSightModerator
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Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: gavinm]
      #5661344 - 02/04/13 09:24 AM

Quote:

That's not teaching, it's lecturing




Articulate, thought-provoking lectures *are* a valuable form of teaching. For example, a great many people find the TED series of lectures to be extremely worthwhile in expanding their awareness and knowledge of things they would otherwise not have been exposed to. For lectures to be effective teaching, however, they have to successfully engage most of the audience into actively thinking through the material presented, rather than simply passively collecting fact-tokens to be stored away in a notebook for a future test.

This is not to dismiss the value of teachers who are good at didactic methods of teaching, nor the value of teachers who are good at choosing and assisting with exercises designed for self-teaching by students through experiment and experience. However, teaching in this manner effectively and engagingly is as difficult as teaching through engaging lecturing. Too often, the "experiment and experience" winds up being little more than students plodding through workbooks, or laboriously plodding through dull "experiments" that teach students little except bureaucratic hoop-jumping to get the necessary token of academic credit to move on. The didactic (or Socratic) method is, in the hands of far too many teachers, simply a clumsy, awkward, dull technique to attempt (or simulate) engaged teaching or learning, used with poor sensibility about what sorts of back-and-forth dialogue with students is useful or engagingly interesting. In too many hands, it becomes little more than a mutually embarassing pop quiz about material the student has little sense or desire regarding its potential importance, except to give enough of an answer to get the teacher off their back for the moment. zzzzzz.

I'd VASTLY prefer to have Dr. Feynemann as my "teacher", even in a large lecture hall format, than the vast majority of teachers I've endured who try to employ "techniques" their college education departments considered "teaching", when simply being a good, truthfully accurate storyteller about whetever subject they're teaching, able to infectiously convey their own fascination with the subject-matter...is infinitely more valuable. The best teachers I've ever had are NOT that way because of anything they learned through educational pedagoguary, but rather because they are articulate evangalists of some subject they have strong native interest in themselves.


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gavinm
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/26/05

Loc: Auckland New Zealand
Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5662044 - 02/04/13 04:02 PM

The original poster refers to High School. Adults who go to TED talks are already educated and are there by choice, therefore are already interested and engaged. High School students don't have that choice so require multiple methods to engage them at different levels. I'm not disagreeing with you about the shortfalls of many teachers, but you are bringing your educated/adult paradigm to the discussion. I suspect Dr Feynman would not be successful as a High School teacher in a modern classroom - you may like him now, but you're an adult with an interest. My students would find the video amusing and possibly learn from it, but not in the long term. Lecturing CAN be effective to a limited degree in a course where students have chosen to attend - physics is an example in many schools, science is not. They are their because they have to be and would be disengaged within 10 minutes of someone speaking at them.

Personally I agree and find many (not a majority, however) teachers about as exciting as watching paint dry.


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llanitedave
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Reged: 09/26/05

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Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: gavinm]
      #5662443 - 02/04/13 08:29 PM

Good point about the difference between high school and voluntary adult learning, Gavin. I'd just quibble that in many cases, even though adults can show up for a class fully engaged and willing to listen, a boring lecturer can quickly disengage them. The need to keep the source material interesting and involving for both adults and teens isn't necessarily that different. The real key is that the teacher is enthusiastic and takes joy in the material he/she is communicating.

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astromattical
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Reged: 06/24/07

Loc: Virginia Beach, VA
Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5662846 - 02/05/13 02:09 AM

I have absolutely no positive memories of my teachers in all of my education, but my passion for science is immense. Although my teachers were not enthusastic, I had friends that were and for some reason I just ate science up. I'd come home from high school and read all sorts of text books for fun - astronomy, marine science, physics. My dad also built many rubber-band powered airplanes, model rockets, and dug for shells at the beach with me when I was a kid.

School provided a foundation, and everything else on top of that was developed at home. It sure would have been nice to have an enthusastic teacher, but it isn't necessary. My son will be raised as I was, and I'm sure he'll be a geek just like his father regardless of his school environment.


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gavinm
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/26/05

Loc: Auckland New Zealand
Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5662894 - 02/05/13 04:02 AM

Quote:

I'd just quibble that in many cases, even though adults can show up for a class fully engaged and willing to listen, a boring lecturer can quickly disengage them.




Too right - the number of conferences I've been to with "professional" or "world-class" speakers that have bored the pants off me is not all that surprising.


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groz
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Reged: 03/14/07

Loc: Campbell River, BC
Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: gavinm]
      #5663567 - 02/05/13 01:06 PM

I dont think the TED lectures are a good example _at all_. Saw a clip on tv last nite, they are coming to town around here for the next couple of years. Wife and I were thinking, hey, that would be an interesting thing to attend a time or two. We changed our mind, when they mentioned the $7000 ticket price.

There is more selection criteria than 'just interested' when it comes that that audience.


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Glassthrower
Vendor - Galactic Stone & Ironworks
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Reged: 04/07/05

Loc: Oort Cloud 9
Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: groz]
      #5666236 - 02/06/13 11:25 PM

Only $7k a pop? Heck, I'll take 10 tickets and bring the whole family!

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Rick Woods
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Reged: 01/27/05

Loc: Inner Solar System
Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #5666362 - 02/07/13 01:25 AM

That better include a soda, popcorn, and parking validation!

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Glassthrower
Vendor - Galactic Stone & Ironworks
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Reged: 04/07/05

Loc: Oort Cloud 9
Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5667224 - 02/07/13 02:46 PM

It should include a Tak refractor for that kind of money.

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Scott Horstman
Vendor - Backyard Observatories
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Reged: 03/11/04

Loc: Here, There and Everywhere
Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #5667531 - 02/07/13 05:25 PM

At 7k a seat for that you'd think I'd be booked till 2030 for observatory installs.

Does it include a Carribean astronomy cruise?


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Matthew Ota
Hmmm


Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Los Angeles, California
Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: Scott Horstman]
      #5677964 - 02/13/13 04:29 PM

I had some good high school science teachers but the best science teacher I ever had was Issac Asimov through his books and essays.

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Glassthrower
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Reged: 04/07/05

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Re: Boring Science Teachers new [Re: Matthew Ota]
      #5680237 - 02/14/13 09:22 PM

Ditto what Matthew just said - Asimov inspired me about science more than any one factor.

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