Of course they should. You can’t teach maths to someone who knows more maths than you.
And since everyone is now born with a third class Honours degree in every subject from aardvark reproductive biology to Zulu history, a teacher with a third class Honours degree simply won’t do.
What a load of bollocks.
Schools go up to A level (Highers in Scotland) and they used to go as far as S level. I have an S level. It’s no bloody use because nobody now knows what it is, but it means I have the set in biology. The Oxford/Cambridge entry exams were sat at school but sent away to be marked at the universities. Teachers need to be at least one level above the course they teach, they don’t have to be full professors, PhD, DSc and bar (every scientists loves the bar).
A third class result is still an Honours degree. Below that is an Ordinary degree which is still a decent qualification. Below that is ‘fail’.
Even those who failed must have learned something, even if it’s only how to find your way home drunk. In some schools, they really need someone to teach that.
Any honours degree is way above what a teacher would be expected to teach in schools. I remember being taught (and deciding instead to learn which book it was in) the full biochemistry of photosynthesis. The whole set of pathways looks like a map of a Bombay slum. It’s mind-boggling. And that was only A level – why didn’t it deter me from a biological degree? Possibly because bacteria aren’t plants and as long as I stick with the ones that live in the dark, I won’t have to deal with that horror of a diagram. Bacteria use a different one anyway.
I admit to not being able to draw Kreb’s cycle. I see no need to have that in my head, I have several books here I can use to look it up if I need it. It was in my head for the day of the exam then – foosh. Gone. Remember which book it’s in. No need to clutter up limited physical brain with stuff you rarely need.
A biology teacher only needs that in his head on the day of the lesson. It impresses kids if you can draw it from memory on the board but if you can’t, no problem. Copy it from the book before the class starts. As long as you know which page it’s on, that’s enough.
What happens when the teacher is six or seven levels above the coursework? The teacher is bored out of their minds explaining what, to them, are the absolute basics every year and never being able to use more than a fraction of the knowledge they have. I was a few levels above a HND class I used to teach about microbiology and genetics. Here I am, PhD and all, teaching agriculture students how silage works. No, I could not go further than the basics, they only need to know why they have to keep the air out and why mouldy silage will kill their cattle and/or get them prosecuted for food poisoning further down the line. There is so much more to know about the bacterial interactions that turn grass into silage but they didn’t need it. Just how to make safe silage.
Imagine a professor of mathematics teaching quadratic equations to an O level class. That professor will have no teeth, they’ll be ground down to flat white slots in his or her gums. Why can these people not grasp this simple thing? Why do I have to keep explaining it? Why can I not tell them about Mandelbrot sets and unreal numbers? Surely they are here to learn?
You reach a point in your own education where you find yourself stunned by the inability of others to understand stuff you left behind many years ago. The idea that a bricklayer or a plumber has never had any need to know about the comparative ATP generation of aerobic and anaerobic metabolism simply does not occur. Doesn’t everyone know that? No, because not everyone took A level biology and of those that did, fewer went on to a degree and even fewer to a PhD.
I started a discussion of IQ with someone who stopped me with – ‘Look, I don’t know what that means’. I was silenced. She works in a shop. She is intelligent but IQ measurement is of no relevance to her life at all. There is no competition based on these numbers in her life. They simply do not matter to her in the same way that types of car, engine sizes, football and many other things simply do not matter to me. For some people they are important. For me, if the car works, that’s all I need to know. Football is, to me, a bunch of grown men who do what kids do in the street. I don’t want to watch it. Lots of people do, and pay to watch. People are different to huge degrees and university only lets you contact a very narrow range.
My own teachers didn’t all go to university. The headmaster did. He had a degree in something, I forget what. Hitting small boys with a stick, maybe. That course wasn’t on offer when I applied but I bet that headmaster got a first.
. My English teacher wasn’t a famous author (as far as I know, she wasn’t an author at all), the French teacher was a neurotic wreck who spoke French. Okay, she wasn’t totally neurotic when we started school but the music teacher started out sane too. He had left by second year. We had one maths teacher who knew her stuff and then some bloke who might well have been a doctor or professor because his classes were all way over anyone’s head, far too fast, and he had no chance of controlling a class full of bored kids. He produced the best teacher one-liner of school days – ‘Is anyone listening?’ Nope.
There was a woodwork teacher who the biology teacher would ask about plants. He could identify wood by looking at it, which was pretty cool. So was the chemistry teacher who loved to say ‘Hey, watch this!’ just before something exploded. And the physics teacher who let us design and etch circuit boards. Then play with soldering irons. I bet they aren’t allowed to do that any more.
I don’t think those teachers even had degrees but they knew a hell of a lot more than we did. That wasn’t hard, I was eleven when I went to the local grammar (later it became comprehensive, which I liked because the school we joined with had metalwork class facilities. I made a cannon which my mother still has and a cold chisel which I know is still in my father’s toolbox). I didn’t know nuffink.
The idea of someone coming out of university with a first class degree in an actually useful subject then taking a teacher’s salary to deal with horrible children they aren’t allowed to discipline in any way is astonishing. Teachers don’t get paid anywhere near enough to put up with the freaks and monsters they have to deal with every day. It would be safer to take a job as a lion tamer.
A third class Honours degree is far more than anyone needs to teach the blank minds they will face every day. Someone with an A level in physics knows more than enough to teach an O level physics class. Hell, anyone who passed with an ‘A’ grade knows enough to teach the next layer of the same class.
Why do school teachers have to have Honours degrees at all? Surely the requirement should be ‘know more than the Morlocks in front of you’? A qualification in karate or judo might be of more use in the modern classroom than even a CSE in the subject.
Some parts of the article are undeniable. Being taught by someone who only just scraped a pass in the subject is derisory. Also, those ‘teacher training colleges’ have long been hotbeds of ridiculous Leftie propaganda and should be nuked from orbit. They don’t want to turn out real teachers, they want to turn out Marxist propaganda drones. Which they do. Shut the lot of them. Those who naturally want to teach will still do it, they’ll learn on the job. Just as they did back in the days when we still had real life.
The Lefties turned schools into indoctrination centres. It’s right that this should be corrected – but the Tories have gone way too far. Teachers do not need to be PhD material, they will get bored teaching empty heads that 2+2=4. Teachers only need to want to teach.
Wee Govey would spend his time better if he allowed discipline in classrooms. That would help a lot. Oh, the bleeding hearts will say ‘But you can’t hit kids, it damages them’. Depends how hard you hit them, and what with. I’d have always taken six of the cane over the modern ‘week in isolation’ technique though.
That isolation thing – that is seriously damaging.
But then, isn’t that what Marx wanted?
(You know, if Karl’s brothers had let him be in the films, he wouldn’t have been such a sore-ass bastard. Then again, the films would not have been funny at all. I think Groucho made the right decision).