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Topic: Re: Are Tenure Track Professors Better Teachers?
Replies: 7   Last Post: Sep 16, 2013 10:54 AM

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Alain Schremmer

Posts: 876
Registered: 10/10/05
Re: Are Tenure Track Professors Better Teachers?
Posted: Sep 15, 2013 5:57 PM
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On Sep 15, 2013, at 5:23 PM, Lars wrote:

> Do you really agree
> that anyone with a degree remotely related to mathematics can teach
> math at the community college level as long as they can "pass" a
> thumbs-up/thumbs-down interview with the chair? That people who teach
> at a degree issuing institution like a community college don't need a
> degree in the field they are teaching in?

There is the theory and then there is the reality.

At my school, most of the full-time instructors have Ph.Ds in
mathematics. But most---if not all---of them "cover the book". And,
since "the book" is getting worse every year, what good is their
degree? In fact, as far as passing the course goes, the students would
seem to learn more from the tutors at the learning lab, that is from
students who have already passed the course and know "how to do it".

To mention Epstein's article in the Notices again, the students of all
these Ph. D. have no idea of what makes what they are doing tick.

> I believe we are professionals

Maybe, but, in any case, we are being replaced by the stuff in the
clouds. So, who cares?


Disclosures. (1) I have two ABDs and lost interest in writing the
corresponding dissertations: one on hypersonic shock-waves and one on
finite objects in topoi theory. (2) Instead of explaining "the book",
I try to help students learn how to read mathematics on their own,
pencil in hand, and how to cope. Of course, we don't use "the book"---
and I had to write one.
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