A recent Scientific American Article on what makes a good science or maths teacher makes interesting reading. After decades of accepting mediocrity the US government has begun to insist that its science and maths teachers actually have qualifications in the subject. They have found that it pays dividends in pupil performance if teachers have three attributes.
1. Competent and qualified but not too qualified so as to be aloof and unforgiving on the type of content need at the level of most school pupils.
2. The must genuinely love their subject and love bringing it alive for young people.
3. Have a supportive but challenging approach which doesn't let any pupil off the hook and doesn’t diminish difficulty for the sake of easy wins, a quiet life and exam focused box ticking.
Luckily the UK has had better qualified science teachers for a long time and the good news is that more pupils are taking maths and science subjects at A level than ever before. Probably a few good teachers in there somewhere!
Next post Wednesday: The Stats of War
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