Teacher Training

Robert Curtis (robert@CALCULUS.NET )
Wed, 27 Nov 1996 10:39:38 -0500

Hi Everyone,

>On the subject of teacher training I would like to open the discussion on
>some matters to be considered:
>1. Teacher training done in the traditional after school workshop or
>during vacation time is useless.
>2. Teacher training should be done in a classroom with an experienced
>teacher and a class actually doing the thing for which the teacher is
>being trained.
>3. Use student interns to assist the teacher trainee in the techno stuff
>while the teacher handles the coursework.
>These are three premises upon which I would start my argument about
>teacher training.

I think the most important thing we can do for teacher training is improve
the curricula that the teachers will use on the computers to a point where
it is polished as much as textbooks are. This is definitely not the case
today, and there is an overwhelming feeling by new teachers using technology
that they have to create all of the new curricula for the computer.

To coin a phrase from a recent TV commercial, "the technology needs
to be as invisible as the heating system."

Unfortunately, the software industry has yet solve this problem for
general users, which exacerbates the problem that publishing of
electronic curricula has yet to find its voice, and most/all materials
are cumbersome/awkward for non-expert users.

>In my experience, the workshops are not real time experiences. In the
>truest form of constructivism, we learn by doing, so I have found that
>the most effective method in training is to "throw them in the pool."
>While the teacher trainees are working in the class along side the
>experinced teacher the trainee can see actual problems solved, see the
>integration of curriculum and web, and can come to understand this new
>pedagogy first hand rather than in theory or in testimonials etc etc.
>Blah blah blah doesn't work, getting one's hands dirty does. Anther
>important element in the equation is the use of experienced student
>interns to assist in the techno stuff in all computer related classes.
>It helps the intern learn more, it is peer assistance, and it takes the
>burden away from the techno-phobic teacher who really wants to use the
>computer but has trepidations.

Our goal needs to be to create activity sets that appeal to the teacher so
much that they will *want* to learn the technology required to implement
the activity. Rebecca's project is an excellent example of this for
grammar school teachers.

Robert R. Curtis, Ph.D.
President, WebPrimitives Mathematics Instructor
WWW Consultation and Construction San Joaquin Delta College
15 Ellery Street Suite 4 5151 Pacific Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138 Stockton, CA 95207
617.499.0091 curtis@ms.sjdccd.cc.ca.us
robert@webprimitives.com http://calculus.sjdccd.cc.ca.us
http://www.webprimitives.com 209.474.5677
robert@calculus.net http://www.calculus.net