August 3, 2007

Education insight

Here's an email from a new public school teacher in Pennsylvania. He is struggling with the pompous and inane jargon of the education school professors from whom he's taking courses to get accredited, and says it dawned on him that:


Those who can, do.
Those who can't, teach.
Those who can't teach get a Ph.D. in Education so they can implement instruction for instructional implementers.


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Those who score above 2000 on the GRE are viewed with suspicion and dislike and if at all possible banned from getting MAs or PhDs in Education.

Alex said...

Oh sweet Jesus, the accreditation process has got to be the biggest disincentive to being a public school teacher, even with all the bad schools out there and bad students and the rest of it. Even though I’m near-unemployable and thus perfect for public school teaching, it’s just so offensively stupid that I regularly consider giving up on it just out of principle. How they have the gall to whine about needing good teachers and then at the same time maintain a screening process to weed out anyone who isn’t a jackass is beyond me.

Alex said...

Anon 7:29: How serious are you? I scored above 2000 and everyone hates me but I assumed it was something else about me. Seriously, I can see how not being dumb inevitably leads to friction and earning the ire of the commissars but I think they'd love to have smarter people in their system if only to deflect the criticism that people in Ed are the bottom of the postgrad barrel, which they hate hearing. It’s just in practice smarter people aren’t a good fit. Unless they've got really gooey ideas about education, I suppose. Which I guess I used to.

Anonymous said...

I was already pursuing an initial teaching certificate combined with graduate level courses when I took the GRE and did much better than I expected. I did review for it by using a Princeton Review CD-rom I bought at Half Price Books. But the computer based format suited me as well. It gave me math at my level which I can do all day. I knew my verbal score would be good but my math score was almost as high. The GRE people wanted me to come take the test again for some reason (I hope they didn't think I cheated).

Since the score didn't matter, I didn't bother to find out if I'd perform as well taking it a second time. Evidence of ability obviously hurt rather than helped in the education department. The socialists in education must have some sort of radar or else they all get together and discuss students who stand out in some way. Maybe my clothes were too conservative. Perhaps I didn't use the proper jargon. Either way they seemed to know I wasn't one of them before I opened my mouth.

Weird things happened with an alarming regularity. I had a professor stand by me whenver one of my classmates teared up in one of our weekly confessional type moments. I'm a female but she still seemed to believe I'd say something cutting in response to a display of emotion. In another course, two black females sat on either side of me and acted out the role of enthusiatic black children raising their hands and jumping up and down in their seats to answer questions. I later realized they'd probably been assigned those seats deliberatly. There's more but I'd have to go into the old memory vault to be more coherent.

It was all too surreal.

I'm still a little paranoid from the experience. The university in question used to have an excellent teacher education program but was transformed in that miserable decade between 1985 and 1999 when the politically correct consolidated their power. It became apparent that neither GRE scores nor A's would make it possible for me to create the kind of network I'd need to get good references or work in a school that wasn't a war zone.

I guess the score doesn't reflect actual ability because I still haven't got a clue how to cope with the new norm, the new order, whatever you want to call it. That or the fact that I'm a lousy liar.

Bill said...

In my experience I got the worst grades in college from the stupidest profs, including one English teacher who couldn't spell and an anthropology teacher who referred to Algerians as founders of the black liberation movement (I don't think she took it well when I asked if she was actually just confused by the term "pieds noirs"). But hey, they were both hawt.

The sad thing is, my dream was to be an anthropologist after I visited the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago when I was 12. I know that will never happen now, but it's like twisting a blade in my gut when I see what's become of the field these days.

Zach said...

Both my parents have Ph.Ds in Education (my mom is a professor in Educational Technology). It is the irony of ironies that all educational degrees are devoid of any education whatsoever and employ the least educational techniques. I think most good teachers have to actively forget what they "learned" in education school, for the most part, in order to be a good teacher.
It all goes back to the unions and the difficulty of objectively measuring teacher performance. The teachers union is very powerful and prevents any effort to reward good teachers and punish bad ones. Instead, good and bad, lazy and enthusiastic, intelligent and moronic are all paid the same, mainly based on years teaching and educational degrees.
Thus, the demand for educational degrees is tremendous, since it can increase lifetime salaries by up to a hundred thousand dollars. Almost every principle I know has a Ph.D, is getting one, or wants to get one. It is a classic race to the bottom because you have hundreds of times more people wanting a Ph.D in Education than, say, in Physics or Scandinavian Literature. And we have lots of "teaching colleges" that want nothing more than to provide them. To do so, however, they make the entrance requirements much, much lower and then the classes are a farce. Honestly, what can a 2nd grade teacher with 8 years of experience learn from a Marxist/Feminist professor who has not actually ever been in an elementary school classroom? But a masters in elementary education translates to $3000/year more and it can be done evenings and in the summer for a couple years.
BTW, the GRE is in two parts, math and verbal, each ranging from 200-800 (and an essay from 1-6) so the top score is 1600. I, too, would be suspicious of someone who got above 2000 on the GRE. Now, the SAT has three sections, so the top score is 2400.

Anonymous said...

How old was your English prof, bill? I used to be an excellent speller but that was years ago. I'd like to think I've developed some new skills to replace the one's I'm obviously losing. Though there is some solace in old age. I can take heart that with the loss of a few more neurons, I'll come to believe I'm smarter than ever.

Josh said...

This related? I saw an article bemoaning the lack of Liberal arts majors and the fact that so few students take Shakespear.I thought maybe people arent anxious to go deep into debt to hear some fat,hairy,smelly greasy angry lesbian pontificate about deconstruction,Maya Angelou and the penis as a weapon! (I wish!:D )

Should've been a CPA said...

Josh,

These days Queer Theory is all the rage. No need to deconstruct the patriarchy anymore just go straight to the important stuff. How gays were portrayed, secretly yet obviously gay characters, secretly yet obviously gay playwrights is what the study of literature is all about. Oddly enough, conjecture that Othello and Iago were in fact frustrated homosexuals trapped in a heterocentric world isn't welcome.

Bill said...

How old was your English prof, bill? I used to be an excellent speller but that was years ago. I'd like to think I've developed some new skills to replace the one's I'm obviously losing. Though there is some solace in old age. I can take heart that with the loss of a few more neurons, I'll come to believe I'm smarter than ever.

-anon


She was in her 40s. Very nicely built -- must have been a real knockout in her 20s.

Don't feel bad about losing the spelling acuity. I'm still relatively young and I don't have the recall ability I did as a kid. Hell, back when I was 12 I beat out a bunch of Korean contenders for the regional spelling bee championship. I might have won the state championship, but I took a trip to Russia and missed it (no regrets here).

It's been thousands of beers since then. Throw in a concussion or two and I am left with a good memory, but the uncanny memory I had at the time seems to have settled down to a more normal level. I thank God for this. It was always more of a curse anyway; people thought I was weird.

Anonymous said...

Zach said:

BTW, the GRE is in two parts, math and verbal, each ranging from 200-800 (and an essay from 1-6) so the top score is 1600. I, too, would be suspicious of someone who got above 2000 on the GRE. Now, the SAT has three sections, so the top score is 2400.

Sorry, Zach, the GREs have had three sections for longer than the SATs have. When I took them in the early 1990s (well before the SATs added their third section), the three were mathematics, verbal, and logic. From what I can tell on the ETS web site, the logic section has been replaced by an analytical writing section.

Anonymous said...

My mother has an uncanny memory, bill, but I guess you're talking about a photographic memory rather than a memory for wrongs long past.

Bill said...

My mother has an uncanny memory, bill, but I guess you're talking about a photographic memory rather than a memory for wrongs long past.

-anon


Actually, a little bit of both, now that you mention it. Runs in the family. Evidently, it's an ethnic trait:

BERTIE AHERN, 46, elected prime minister of Ireland in June, has a lot of history to contend with. Here's Ahern talking about how long his countrymen hold grudges:

"Within minutes, the conversation is back in 1920. Ten more minutes, you're in 1600 -- and two hours later you're in the 12th century."