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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Teaching in the UK

From the BBC:
Ministers want Britain's top IT and science companies to encourage "career switchers" to go into teaching. Ministers want professional scientists, mathematicians, information technology experts and engineers to help fill the skills gaps in classrooms.

Now we have been hearing for some time that the government wants more science teachers, notably in the area of physics. If I was a conspiracy theorist I would say that the current devastation of UK physics research plays into the governments plans brilliantly.

Many of England's science teachers have not studied science to degree level.

But many future ones might just have PhDs!

Hundreds of physicists and technicians will lose their jobs at the stroke of an STFC pencil leaving them available to sculpt future minds. Of course since some of the best research groups and training grounds for future PhDs are about to get decimated there isn't much to inspire those young minds with.

On the other hand, some folks, such as the current set of ministers at DUIS, the PM and of course the executive of STFC will have a hell of a legacy: they will have killed some of the best science in the world.


Ryan Somma said...

Very astute observation. I suppose the bright side to this is that all those out-of-work PhD's turned science teachers will be able to heavily influence young minds and make them politically aware enough to lobby for more science funding in the future. For all the good that does you now. : )

Kav said...

Sadly Ryan, with the way that the UK government has messed around with teaching for the past couple of decades and the associated plummeting of moral I doubt that many of us would hack it for long.

Dave said...

I know several ex-physicists who tried to go into teaching and who bounced off it. There is too much bureaucracy, too much crowd control, and not enough time to think and work on the subject rather than the syllabus. I certainly wouldn't recommend teaching to any refugee from a university physics department.