Author Topic: Math taught by mathematicians?  (Read 1815 times)

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Offline Sal Atticum

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Math taught by mathematicians?
« on: September 19, 2006, 11:04:30 am »
Quote from: Seed Magazine
Simons put forth an idea to improve the state of math education in America. It was a notion he'd unsuccessfully tried to publish as a New York Times editorial a few years before: Have the people who know the subject teach the subject, and provide them with the money, training, and support they need to do so.
(entire article)

I like this idea.  I've always been a fan of having the people who know the material getting to teach it.  I think it would be great to have high school teachers have a more solid education in what they are teaching, rather than staying (in some places) two chapters ahead of the students or (in other places) teaching the same material whether or not something has changed or (I hope not) just downloading what they teach off the internet.

On a related note, I think that Newt Gingrich's incentive plan for education in America is pretty good, assuming that there were a source for the money.  Being paid to go to school allows the schools to have higher standards rather than feeling bad for taking the student away from whatever else it is they do (especially if it is working to support their family). 

What can I say, I like incentives.  Now if only school districts would pay teachers more for all that they do.

What does everyone else think?  Do you think we should totally change the requirments for teachers?  In NY state at least, all high school teachers are required to have a graduate degree, although I don't know if it has to be in the area they teach.  Where do you think the money should come from so that we can compete with the rest of the world?

Offline red hibiscus

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Re: Math taught by mathematicians?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2006, 07:28:20 pm »
Kudos to this Simons guy...
I think considering changing the educational requirements for high school math teachers is definitely worth pursuing.  It's pretty sad that 40% of public high school math teachers don't even have a degree in math.  How are they supposed to effectively teach the material to students if they are unqualified? (at least in my opinion, unqualified...I don't think having a BA/BS in the subject area is asking too much) Who wants to teach something they don't have a background in?  I can think of at least 3 of my high school teachers who did not have a degree in their respective subject areas---and yep, they were all math teachers (I sure hope they didn't just download what they taught off the internet either...horrible!).

I think at the present state we may be depriving students of potentially better learning experiences.  Teachers with math degrees not only have more advanced math knowledge (hopefully!), but they may also have better ways to teach the concepts to students.  Plus, they're more likely to be passionate about what they're teaching, which rocks even more...


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