Philwelch said: "That doesn't mean teaching in and of itself is difficult, just that teaching difficult subjects is difficult."
/me stops dead in me's tracks.
Oh sweet merciful christ.
Did you just say that teaching isn't difficult?
You have officially just lost this debate. Because statements like that make it painfully obvious that you have no frikking idea what you are talking about.
Anyone who thinks that teaching isn't difficult should try it for 6 months. I will be ready to gloat at those few who are still left sane and alive at the end of it.
You have no idea what an impossible juggling act teaching is. I could explain in detail, but it really has to be experienced.
This touches on another major bugbear of mine: Teachers, nurses, police officers, garbage collectors, janitors and a few other careers are absolutely VITAL for the running of any modern society, but they are completely undervalued by those societies.
And it isn't just that the pay is universally terrible, it is also the subtle belief that if you are in one of these careers there is somehow something WRONG with you.
One of my Education professors made a point of always telling people at conferences etc that she was a teacher, when they asked what she did. She did this because in her soul that is her preferred identity. She also did it because she got a kick out of watching the look of subtle condescending arrogance that crept across their faces, when they found out she was "just" a teacher.
What she enjoyed even more was kicking their asses at the debates that followed.
And it was, ironically, Ayn Rand who pointed out that in a situation like this the best members of this exploited group will start to drop out of the system, by getting other work, by leaving the country, or by retiring. Global teacher shortage anyone? (oh, you didn't know about that?)
I would also like to point out that when I was at Rhodes University it was a requirement that 3rd year Information Systems students had to do a philosophy one course. I have no idea why, but I think it's a brilliant idea. In any event many of them failed. I raise this because, Philwelch, your posts still seem to contain the bizare perception that being able to do science somehow means you are smarter than those who cannot do science.
This is a lie. A lie propagated primarily by scientists. Big surprise there.
Do some research on the modern psychometrics of intelligence testing, and you will see that the experts in the field have moved away from this silly idea decades ago, thank goodness. Refer back to my pythagoras example if you would like a quick refresher.
I mean your argument basically goes like this:
1) Some of the smartest people who have ever lived have been mathematicians and physicists.
2) Therefore everyone who does maths and physics is smart
3) Therefore people who do things that are very different from maths and physics are NOT smart.
Now it may look like a straw man, but after reviewing your posts again I really don't think it is.
However you could easily prove me wrong by posting a definition of intelligence that shows that I am wrong, and you are right.
I would also like to point out that the smartest guy on the planet is Noam Chomsky, and he wouldn't know a quark if it shot up his nose.
Maybe we should have a different thread about that.
Anyway you also said that kids should be taught trigonometry, even if they don't intend to ever use it. But you still haven't given any reason why in the name of aunt mary's balls they SHOULD! What possible use could it be? Make them smarter? No, it won't. It might make them able to do better on old IQ tests, but that is not the same thing. If you think it's valuable because it will challenge their minds then that does make sense. But a good philosophy course will do more to challenge your mind than a trig course.
I would also like to point out that the research is against you as well. Many studies have shown that when adults are asked which teacher had the greatest positive impact on their lives the most common answer by far was: the English teacher
(or insert appropriate first langauge of your choice).
"Teaching isn't hard"... Good god man. That is worse than just silly, it's a symptom of a massive socio-cultural problem.
And no one has yet addressed the fundamental flaw in the US education system:
The fact that poor people get an inferior education, by law.
In a competitive job market the quality of your education isn't as important as how competitive it is. In other words your education needs to be able to be as impressive, or more impressive, as the next person in the interview queue. In a country like yours (and sadly, mine) people who start off poor are at an immediate disadvantage, because even if they are talented and hard working the quality of their education is lower, and this they are less competitive.
In my country this happened because of Apartheid. What's your excuse?
/me goes to have a cool, calming shower.
It's all very interesting...