Just wanted to comment -
On high school biology teachers: I agree that requiring an advanced
degree is not a great idea. Isn't part of the the major problem that
great researchers don't necessarily know how to teach? I agree that the
problem is keeping up. Why do doctors who finished medical school 20
years ago take continuing education? I think requiring continuing
education for high school science teachers through the use of workshops,
courses and short sabbaticals could really help.
I also think that requiring more teacher education for researchers and
grad students could really help.
In addition, how about rewarding teachers for participating in said
courses with bonuses, raises and decent classroom equipment?
On Humanities: Erica Pederson said it really well (how many Ericas are we?).
My BSc is in Bio and hopefully in the fall I will have finished my MSc in
Bio. The prevailing attitude in this uni is that within Natural Sciences
Physics and Math top, then Chem then Bio. Engineering is sort of
parallel to the top of Natural Science, but they have an internal
hierarchy as well. Humanities and Soc Sci and Nursing are below
everybody else, but Economics and Behav. Sci. are at the top of the
bottom. Humanities is jokingly referred to as "lawn science."
While I think that not everyone can be a great physicist, not every
physicist could be a great linguist or philosopher.
I recently started taking courses in the nursing school, as my research
(neonatal cardiovascular physiology) has many clinical aspects. My
department was extremely not thrilled and even from nurses, I was told
that I was moving backwards. My attitude is that I move sideways, to
make sure my education is well-rounded and encompasses each area that I
need to know.
Last question in this long post: How many of you out there in
universities with medical schools see great rivalries between the Bio
dept. and the medical school, even at the expense of the students? If
the topic develops, I'll send in some of my lovely experiences in this area.
erica at bgumail.bgu.ac.il