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(News.com.au)   "Teachers don't need to be smart"   (news.com.au) divider line 52
    More: Dumbass, Federal School, National Occupational Standards, passenger aircraft, state education, teachers  
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3657 clicks; posted to Geek » on 31 Jul 2012 at 10:57 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-31 10:03:10 AM
He's not wrong. I had maybe 3 teachers through high school who I would consider "smart" and I still learned good.
 
2012-07-31 10:10:28 AM
I guess that's why we pay them shiat.
 
2012-07-31 10:24:16 AM
You need to be more like an actor than a genius to teach. Rehearse your lines well enough and look like you know what you are doing and you'll do fine
 
2012-07-31 10:28:54 AM
The only teachers who have to be smart are the ones who have to do math or science equations on the fly in front of the class. Everything else is just memorizing shiat in a book.
 
2012-07-31 10:37:25 AM
It's kind of true.

A teacher is a personal trainer for your brain. Your trainer doesn't have to be able to do the exercise for you. Learning is brain exercise. Teachers only point you towards doing it yourself.
 
2012-07-31 10:45:30 AM
Most of the really smart people I've known couldn't teach for shiat. When I worked as an instructor for a tech company, there was a guy who was super smart. He knew everything there was to know about the subject matter we were teaching. But he couldn't teach. He had zero teaching skills and not so great social skills.

Unfortunately, it took a long time before management figured out that this particular guy was a better asset behind the scenes, instead of in front of students.
 
2012-07-31 11:01:38 AM
Except that's not what he said, Twistermitter.
 
2012-07-31 11:05:56 AM

Dead for Tax Reasons: You need to be more like an actor than a genius to teach. Rehearse your lines well enough and look like you know what you are doing and you'll do fine


GET OUT OF MY HEAD
GET OUT OF MY CLASSROOM
 
2012-07-31 11:06:39 AM

Some Bass Playing Guy: When I worked as an instructor for a tech company, there was a guy who was super smart. He knew everything there was to know about the subject matter we were teaching. But he couldn't teach. He had zero teaching skills and not so great social skills.


Even really good teachers can't give you their gifts.

Miyamoto Musashi was a naturally gifted fighter with a wicked cunning streak. Neither his teachers nor his students made a wave half the size he did because you just can't teach that kind of thing. Beethoven is NOT the guy you want teaching you how to play the piano. If don't get it, you'll frustrate him and he'll be even worse.

But, as is modeled accurately in video games and real life experience, A low level student learns very well from someone slightly higher. There's very little knowledge gap. Meanwhile classroom education skills are pretty much independent of subject matter. I don't know have to know as much math as one of NASA's engineers to teach a better math class than one. All I have to know is how to deal with students. He might be able to math rings around me, but students will like me better if I can explain it to them on their level and keep the class interesting.

Here's a classic scenario you may have experienced in your own life:

First 25 seconds

The overly smart person can't explain what the hell they're doing in a way people who aren't into the jargon can understand. There was just a thread about this problem in math education yesterday.
 
2012-07-31 11:11:22 AM
Mr Piccoli has suggested schools limit training places as a way of combating the national oversupply of new teachers due partly to the federal government's decision to deregulate university places.



i391.photobucket.com
 
2012-07-31 11:13:28 AM

Mugato: He's not wrong. I had maybe 3 teachers through high school who I would consider "smart" and I still learned good.


Done in one.

/I chortled
 
2012-07-31 11:15:57 AM

wildcardjack: Mr Piccoli has suggested schools limit training places as a way of combating the national oversupply of new teachers due partly to the federal government's decision to deregulate university places.



[i391.photobucket.com image 600x318]




It's Australia. Also, Twilight trifecta in play.
 
2012-07-31 11:16:11 AM

doglover: t, as is modeled accurately in video games and real life experience, A low level student learns very well from someone slightly higher. There's very little knowledge gap. Meanwhile classroom education skills are pretty much independent of subject matter. I don't know have to know as much math as one of NASA's engineers to teach a better math class than one. All I have to know is how to deal with students. He might be able to math rings around me, but students will like me better if I can explain it to them on their level and keep the class interesting.


The ability to teach is the key factor. A certain amount of intelligence can make up for a certain lack of teaching ability. Whereas the education minister seems to be saying enthusiasm/passion is sufficient, and it's not.
 
2012-07-31 11:16:15 AM

doglover: First 25 seconds


Bronies in my Fark? More likely than you think.
 
2012-07-31 11:17:50 AM
The trouble with this is that Pete has an IQ so large he needs a truck to drive it around, so as far as he is concerned 95% of the people he meets seem borderline retarded. This being the case, why pay a Rhodes Scholar to read Hairy McClary to them when you can instead pay someone vaguely literate and no one will notice.
 
2012-07-31 11:19:49 AM

doglover: It's kind of true.

A teacher is a personal trainer for your brain. Your trainer doesn't have to be able to do the exercise for you. Learning is brain exercise. Teachers only point you towards doing it yourself.


Geniuses don't make great teachers for the same reason superior athletes don't make great coaches.

B students make for good teachers because they had to work to understand vs. instantly intuitively grasping everything.
 
2012-07-31 11:22:16 AM

Mugato: He's not wrong. I had maybe 3 teachers through high school who I would consider "smart" and I still learned good.


What you did their, I see it.
 
2012-07-31 11:30:46 AM

doglover: First 25 seconds


I watched it.

Am I a Brony now? Is that how this works?
 
2012-07-31 11:31:34 AM
Maybe he's just trying to lower the bar to line up jobs for the rest of Midnight Oil.
 
2012-07-31 11:39:01 AM
I'm thinking *that* Peter Garrett?!

/remembers when "beds are burning" was new
 
2012-07-31 11:39:03 AM

grinding_journalist: doglover: First 25 seconds

I watched it.

Am I a Brony now? Is that how this works?


Brony = Guy who is a fan of my little pony. Unless you got hooked on that one clip and went to watch the entire new season, I doubt it.

//Daughter is a,,, I think they call themselves Pegasus (girl brony), though that makes no sense.
 
2012-07-31 11:40:17 AM

palelizard: . A certain amount of intelligence can make up for a certain lack of teaching ability.


Not exactly. . .

The closest that can be said accurately is "Smart people will teach themselves how to teach others."

But teaching itself has very little to do with the subject and a lot to do with your skills in teaching itself. A good teacher can pick up a book on a subject they're entirely unfamiliar with on a Friday and come back to you on Sunday with a lesson plan for the next few months that would actually help somebody, even if they don't quite understand the subject yet. Meanwhile an industry professional who hasn't seen the inside of a classroom in 20 years would probably make a pretty poor instructor. If they ARE a professional, they'd quickly brush up on how to teach passing well, but the more experienced teacher can run a tighter ship every time though.

MindStalker: Bronies in my Fark? More likely than you think.


The 80's are baaaack.

i55.tinypic.com
 
2012-07-31 11:43:57 AM

MindStalker: //Daughter is a,,, I think they call themselves Pegasus (girl brony), though that makes no sense.


I think the term is "Pegasister"

Scratch that, I know the term is pegasister, but it never took because it's awkward and most women will just say "I'm a (female) brony." because it's easier to stick with the one word considering all the other jargon you start to pick up.
 
2012-07-31 12:02:17 PM
Every teaching thread needs Taylor Mali.

What Teachers Make (3 min video)
 
2012-07-31 12:38:26 PM
What the hell is Rick Scott doing in Australia?

/Derp Down Under
 
2012-07-31 12:50:47 PM
Except that he didn't say that... at all:

"It is not necessarily a fact that someone who is academically smart makes a better teacher than someone who isn't,'' Mr Garrett told reporters in Canberra.

Suggesting that a teacher's worth is not necessarily reflected entirely by that teacher's test scores does not imply that stupid teachers are great, or that teachers don't need a high level of academic achievement. The incredibly smart professor can be a complete asshole, and the awesome professor who doesn't mind spending his afternoons explaining things outside of class can be a relative dunce.

Whether the students absorb the subject matter, the true indicator of an instructor's effectiveness, does not necessarily correlate to the raw intelligence of the instructor -- though it often does. Words... they have meanings.
 
2012-07-31 12:54:30 PM
My dad ... a career principal who hired countless teachers over his 35 years ... used to look for teachers who were B+ level students.

His reasoning was that those teachers would know what it was like to fail, and to succeed ... and would be in the best position to teach others how to learn.
 
2012-07-31 01:01:07 PM

baronbloodbath: What the hell is Rick Scott doing in Australia?

/Derp Down Under


Remember that it's opposite land where everyone walks on their heads. Bizarro Rick Scott is probably a perfectly reasonable, honest, and decent person.
 
2012-07-31 01:33:29 PM
Well, you don't. I mean, you need to have mastered the material, but a for-reals adult mastering a field of study designed for children while they're enrolled in 5 to 7 similarly broad and basic fields of study simultaneously doesn't make you a rocket scientist, it just makes you an adult.

Also, if you're going to be a proper teacher the first thing you have to do is let go of your mental reliance on smart and not smart as meaningful categories. Yes, general intelligence exists and some people possess it in varying degrees, but the metric is far too general to be of any practical use in instruction. Everyone's good at some things, and everyone's bad at some things, identifying which students need help with what fast is the core skill of teaching and is much more of an art than a science.

I'm not saying that a teacher doesn't need to know shiat, they need to be able to take their subject apart, go back to first principles, and rederive it from scratch on a napkin twice without interrupting their lunch break. But that level of mastery of high-school subjects is what those of us who didn't take nothing but filler classes in college like to call "the first semester of Freshman year". We don't need the big forehead dudes from Planet of the Apes for this, we just need competent and focused professionals who take their job seriously. Frankly, I've met high-school dropouts who could easily do it just fine, and high-school teachers with 30 years of experience and a PhD that still don't really qualify.

//Albeit after 30 years of dealing with parents the problem may be their patience running out more than a real personal lack of professionalism.
 
2012-07-31 02:55:26 PM
"How can we teach when our kids aren't learning?"
 
2012-07-31 03:44:45 PM
Why can't we get people who are smart, and teach them how to teach? Isn't that the purpose of college teaching programs?
 
2012-07-31 04:05:15 PM

torr5962: Why can't we get people who are smart, and teach them how to teach? Isn't that the purpose of college teaching programs?


Smart people can do a lot better for themselves by doing things that aren't teaching.
 
2012-07-31 04:40:18 PM

Bedurndurn: torr5962: Why can't we get people who are smart, and teach them how to teach? Isn't that the purpose of college teaching programs?

Smart people can do a lot better for themselves by doing things that aren't teaching.


Isn't teaching a worthy job? A noble job? Why wouldn't a smart person want to teach?
 
2012-07-31 05:16:51 PM
Judging from my classmates in the program I just finished, most of them aren't.
 
2012-07-31 05:44:20 PM

mgshamster: Bedurndurn: torr5962: Why can't we get people who are smart, and teach them how to teach? Isn't that the purpose of college teaching programs?

Smart people can do a lot better for themselves by doing things that aren't teaching.

Isn't teaching a worthy job? A noble job? Why wouldn't a smart person want to teach?


If you were smart enough, you'd get it.
 
2012-07-31 05:45:39 PM

mgshamster: Isn't teaching a worthy job? A noble job? Why wouldn't a smart person want to teach?


Willing to claim I am smart to answer this. As an educator, the system is often an impediment. The rewards of harnessing your being smart are delayed, infrequent, and practically never from within the profession. Further, to consider teaching requires a certain personality type. To continue teaching requires a more specific personality type. Autonomy is limited. There is no achievement in the field. Opportunities to grow have been replaced by the methods du jour.

What a smart person has to look forward to is starting with the full responsibilities of a veteran, barriers at several levels, little recognition, and years upon years in the same position. The system is simply not designed for someone who is smart. I am incredibly fortunate to have the autonomy, students, parents, and community resources I currently do. Yet, I will not be remaining in the position for too long because there are better ways for me to influence education.
 
2012-07-31 05:49:44 PM

torr5962: Why can't we get people who are smart, and teach them how to teach? Isn't that the purpose of college teaching programs?


General intelligence doesn't always come with interpersonal intelligence. A teacher has to track the absorption of an idea so minutely that they can get a good idea of what questions are going unasked.

Especially with kids in that akward age when they don't want to raise their hand and risk looking dumb in front of everyone who isn't raising their hand.
 
2012-07-31 05:54:28 PM

Vangor: mgshamster: Isn't teaching a worthy job? A noble job? Why wouldn't a smart person want to teach?

Willing to claim I am smart to answer this. As an educator, the system is often an impediment. The rewards of harnessing your being smart are delayed, infrequent, and practically never from within the profession. Further, to consider teaching requires a certain personality type. To continue teaching requires a more specific personality type. Autonomy is limited. There is no achievement in the field. Opportunities to grow have been replaced by the methods du jour.

What a smart person has to look forward to is starting with the full responsibilities of a veteran, barriers at several levels, little recognition, and years upon years in the same position. The system is simply not designed for someone who is smart. I am incredibly fortunate to have the autonomy, students, parents, and community resources I currently do. Yet, I will not be remaining in the position for too long because there are better ways for me to influence education.


Do you think there are ways to remedy this?
 
2012-07-31 05:57:21 PM

Vangor: mgshamster: Isn't teaching a worthy job? A noble job? Why wouldn't a smart person want to teach?

Willing to claim I am smart to answer this. As an educator, the system is often an impediment. The rewards of harnessing your being smart are delayed, infrequent, and practically never from within the profession. Further, to consider teaching requires a certain personality type. To continue teaching requires a more specific personality type. Autonomy is limited. There is no achievement in the field. Opportunities to grow have been replaced by the methods du jour.

What a smart person has to look forward to is starting with the full responsibilities of a veteran, barriers at several levels, little recognition, and years upon years in the same position. The system is simply not designed for someone who is smart. I am incredibly fortunate to have the autonomy, students, parents, and community resources I currently do. Yet, I will not be remaining in the position for too long because there are better ways for me to influence education.


On another note, this seems to be only true for our primary and secondary systems. It doesn't seem to be true at the college level, nor in some other countries, like Finland.
 
2012-07-31 05:57:49 PM

Fano: mgshamster: Bedurndurn: torr5962: Why can't we get people who are smart, and teach them how to teach? Isn't that the purpose of college teaching programs?

Smart people can do a lot better for themselves by doing things that aren't teaching.

Isn't teaching a worthy job? A noble job? Why wouldn't a smart person want to teach?

If you were smart enough, you'd get it.


;)

I suspect what drives most elementary teachers to the profession is a weird liking of children (so screwed up...), wanting to make an OK living (just OK) that carries a certain level of respect with it because it is important, and wanting a job that lets you spend the summer off with your own kids.

Don't tell anyone, but though I have respect for teachers, I really really respect plumbers.
 
2012-07-31 06:15:51 PM

mgshamster: Do you think there are ways to remedy this?


Refined and reduced set of standards. Core and open sets of standards. Collaborative teaching. Teacher mentoring during beginning years. Community mentor/expert partnerships. Increased time for arts including performing arts and music. Teacher lead schools. Quarters rather than semesters; remove the notion of grade level. Competitive salaries for high needs positions. Short term teaching positions. Year round schooling.

I could go into depth about what those changes would mean if you want. Some of them will have a greater impact, and some of them require extreme changes.

mgshamster: On another note, this seems to be only true for our primary and secondary systems. It doesn't seem to be true at the college level, nor in some other countries, like Finland.


Correct. I said in another thread our education and our culture appear to be at odds whereas with the highest performing nations I see education being reflective of the culture.
 
2012-07-31 06:33:38 PM

Big_Fat_Liar: I suspect what drives most elementary teachers to the profession is a weird liking of children


Far and away the most common response to "Why do you want to be a teacher?" Get into child care, be a Big Brother or Sister, be a camp counselor, or all manner of other opportunities to work with children without rigor. The problem which comes with this mentality is the assumption of knowing children because you had children or babysit or something. Motivation theories, child development, and more are ignored or otherwise brushed aside.

I have no children, I do not want children, and the reason I teach is I do not trust the majority of people planning to prepare our next generation.
 
2012-07-31 06:55:36 PM

Vangor: mgshamster: Do you think there are ways to remedy this?

Refined and reduced set of standards. Core and open sets of standards. Collaborative teaching. Teacher mentoring during beginning years. Community mentor/expert partnerships. Increased time for arts including performing arts and music. Teacher lead schools. Quarters rather than semesters; remove the notion of grade level. Competitive salaries for high needs positions. Short term teaching positions. Year round schooling.

I could go into depth about what those changes would mean if you want. Some of them will have a greater impact, and some of them require extreme changes.

mgshamster: On another note, this seems to be only true for our primary and secondary systems. It doesn't seem to be true at the college level, nor in some other countries, like Finland.

Correct. I said in another thread our education and our culture appear to be at odds whereas with the highest performing nations I see education being reflective of the culture.


I can see how some of them will be impactful. What do you mean by (and what's the difference between) reduce/refine and core and open?
 
2012-07-31 07:30:57 PM

mgshamster: What do you mean by (and what's the difference between) reduce/refine and core and open?


Refining and reducing standards are parts of a similar process of getting to core standards. We have a broad but shallow set of standards; what we need is a narrow, deep set of standards for increased mastery which helps retention, retrieval, and application. Refining is making standards specific. For instance, in Florida we have a standard which is to, "Describe, analyze, compare, and classify two-dimensional shapes using sides and angles - including acute, obtuse, and right angles - and connect these ideas to the definition of shapes". This is several standards in one (we fail to recognize fulfillment of parts by requiring mastery of the entire standard or else we fail to recognize lack of fulfillment of parts by requiring only mastery of parts of the standard). Reducing is making fewer standards, namely the ones which are not essential to continued development or learning the next set of standards; while I love the creation of visuals from geometry, tessellations and translations are not built upon.

Core and open standards are my own system though I imagine others have had the thought or similar before. Core standards are those which we believe to have the utmost importance in education. Everyone must master them, especially as later knowledge uses those tools and builds upon the knowledge. Open standards are those which cover any other knowledge, skill, etc., which might be taught in schools but which not all students are expected to master and no students are expected to master all of them. The idea is we provide the rounded education via the core standards while understanding students are different with different interests, abilities, etc.. To progress, students have to master the core standard and some amount of the open standards. Further, as the student progresses, based on previous open standards covered, some amount of open standards are one which a particular student must meet.
 
2012-07-31 07:50:49 PM
Should be obvious. The truly gifted mathematician should be pushing the boundaries of what is understood about mathematics. Waste of talent to have someone like that teaching algebra to 8th graders.
 
2012-07-31 08:38:08 PM

Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: I'm thinking *that* Peter Garrett?!

/remembers when "beds are burning" was new


Yes, this is Peter Garrett from Midnight Oil. He is a government minister now.
 
2012-07-31 08:54:04 PM
Here's the funny thing: I wanted to be a teacher. Got my BA in special ed. Went to do my student teaching for my cert and instead of being a special education teacher, I got shuffled into a regular classroom, doing things that very frankly, I was not trained for. And I didn't do well. To the point I half-flunked-half-quit my student teaching and decided to look for something else, because I knew I could not be successful doing this work. I wanted to teach so bad -I wanted to help other LD students like myself. I think I overcame my challenges and wanted to help others do the same. Sadly, the state of New York felt otherwise and I just didn't have the personal gumption to fight them, at the time.
 
2012-08-01 12:34:12 AM
Not any more they don't. Now they are forced to teach the "No child left behind" test instead of actually important things.
farking bullshiat.
 
2012-08-01 03:09:21 AM

gblive: Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: I'm thinking *that* Peter Garrett?!

/remembers when "beds are burning" was new

Yes, this is Peter Garrett from Midnight Oil. He is a government minister now.


Now that you mention it, I do remember about 15 or so years ago, I saw a CNN story about him wanting to get into politics. I also remember thinking "Whaddaya mean former lead singer of Midnight Oil?!"
 
2012-08-01 03:09:30 AM

cretinbob: Not any more they don't. Now they are forced to teach the "No child left behind" test instead of actually important things.
farking bullshiat.


I would love to point out that you are a moran who doesn't know what they are talking about. And that, as this is an Australian politician talking about Australian teachers your rant about the No child left behind test is completely irrelevant.

/but I can't because AFTER it failed in the US we bought it, re-badged it and rolled it out in our own schools
//watch what foreign governments do, see it fail, then do exactly the same thing. It is the Australian way.
 
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