The Educational Literature As Explained to a 5 Year Old

Below are the small beginning parts of papers I’ve taken from the big group of papers about teaching you can find written by teachers who don’t actually teach, but with the words changed to be more simple using the same thing that was used to write Up Goer Five / Thing Explainer with only simple words. I did this because I think when you take their big words away, they don’t really say anything interesting or important, and because I’m not a nice person.

Personal Ways I Think About Teaching

This paper shows how I think about teaching and learning because I asked teachers what they meant by the word teaching. There’s four things that came from this. There’s the ‘Transfer’ idea, which means the stuff we know is a special thing that moves from one person to another. There is the ‘Shaping’ idea, which means teaching is like shaping or changing the shape of students into something we came up with earlier. Then there is a the ‘Travelling’ idea, which means that the thing we want to talk about is like the ground with hills to be climbed for better places to see it from with the teacher acting as the travelling friend or as a person who knows the place well. Finally, there is the ‘Growing’ idea, which means we look more at the feelings and thoughts of the people who are learning the stuff we want to teach. These ideas work with bits of what students think of the learning that they do. Whatever idea a teacher uses to help him/her think about the learning that they do will change the way he/she teaches and will change the way he/she looks at his/her students and changes anything he/she wants to do with those students. It is suggested that the ideas talked about here will help stop teachers who work together not understanding each other.

Person Who Helps Things Happen, Person Who Tells Others What To Do or Friend Who Tells You When You’re Wrong?: Way Things Don’t Work Together and Ways Things Come Together in In The Way We Look After and Keep an Eye on Students Who Do Work For Us

I want to talk about how we get and keep an eye on and look after some students we have, especially since they pay a lot of money for it and want to their time to be good for how much money they spend, and like to keep an eye on our teaching through things set by the people who run the country. I will talk about how students wanting to show off how good they are at finishing the things we set them, how this might change how we act toward them when we keep an eye on them, and how this stops us keeping an eye on them better. This paper looks at what we know already about keeping an eye on and looking after them and what they need from us when we keep an eye on them, and I also want to look at how this changes how we teach lots of people, and I want to show you some times that my friends did this.

Changes in The Way We Talk To Big Rooms of People

Many things change the way a talk to a big room full of people is thought about and done. Some of these are our ideas and beliefs about teaching, what we know of the easy-to-know bits about teaching, how much stuff like money we have to do it with, and the place you do your teaching in. In this paper, three different of ways of teaching to a big room are talked about and the things that make them different are talked about a lot, looking at them along with the ideas we have now of teaching and teaching ideas. The three talks to big rooms are then grouped together as the-stuff-we-want-to-teach-driven, all-the-stuff-around-us-driven, and learning-ideas-driven. The things we got together to prove this suggest that the more like learning-ideas the talk to a big room is, the more students like it.

See, once you take the big words out it’s not that hard.

You’re Not Here To Study Chemistry

I don’t gripe about work too often here… okay, maybe I do. Anyway, here’s one thought flowing throw my head as I have ten minutes to kill between doing allegedly important things.

File:Chemicals in flasks.jpg

Sometimes, I want to scream to my students: “You’re not here to learn chemistry!

Pfft!

If you want to learn chemistry, read a book. Read Wikipedia. Read ChemGuide. Read HyperPhysics. Any idiot can pick up the material and learn all about it. Science is, possibly more than any other discipline, a well-documented subject. Want to learn some science? It’s out there for you to take. Now, more than ever, with knowledge freely flowing through the internet, anyone can learn about chemistry.

You are mere clicks away from a myriad of experts who have it all written down for your personal consumption and pleasure.

If you’re throwing 3-4 years of your life to come and study, you need to do more than just learn the chemistry. Much, much more. And this is a lesson most of us fail to learn until it’s way too late.

You’re not here to learn chemistry…

You’re here to learn how to be a decent human being. If you leave this place thinking it’s okay to treat the rest of the world like pieces of shit, you’ve wasted your time. Graduate and become a Daily Mail reader, you’ve wasted your time. Graduate and think “well, I don’t mind gay people just so long as…”, you’ve wasted your time. Graduate and think “but women should never earn the same as men because…”, you’ve wasted your time. And you’ve wasted my time, too.

You’re here to become a rounded individual. If you do nothing but learn chemistry, and chemistry alone, and just what we put on the syllabus only, and take no time to engage with another subject, join a society, pick up an instrument, join a protest, write a novel, finger-paint the windows… I dunno, just anything else, then you’ve wasted your time. Take the opportunity to get out there and do more. Do different. Try things. Find out what you hate by doing them. If you don’t, it’s time wasted.

You’re here to become a scientist. If you just learn the facts, you’ve wasted your time. If you can’t think critically, you’ve wasted your time. You’re here to practice science, to do science, to experiment and figure out how to experiment. So if you just learn about it, you’ve wasted your time. You need to do it. Learn some philosophy of science. Learn hypothesis testing, and p-values, and Bayesian statistics, and distributions, and confidence intervals whether your module requires it or not. Learn how to write, to communicate. If you stay up all night fiddling over one lonely mark out of 100 on your lab report, you’ve wasted your time: get hammered in the pub and explain quantum mechanics to your friends instead.

You’re here to become a functioning adult. That means figuring out how to pay bills, cook food, live with others, be on time, and organise your day. Forget the alternative-living hippy-crap for now because you can’t accomplish that with dreams and wishes; if you want to change the world you first need to know how to survive in the crapshack that it is. You need to know when to sleep, when to wake up, when to plough ahead and work hard and when it’s best to give up and try another method another day. You have to tackle your anxieties, fight your depression, face your self-doubts and crippling insecurities, and learn to manage stress about deadlines. You’ve got 3-4 years of your life in the most supportive environment that is physically possible to create – and make no mistake, few other humans get that kind of opportunity. If you can’t do that here and now, when else are you going to pull this off? If you don’t take the opportunity to fight yourself head on, you’ve wasted your time.

You’re here to learn how to take over the world. In 3-4 years time you’ll graduate. You’ll be a post-graduate researcher, a teacher, or in industry, or anywhere else with a job and making a difference in the world. 5 years after that you’ll be managing and leading, making decisions. 10-15 years after that? Who knows. But without warning. and without your consent, and without any other time to prepare, you’ll be running this planet. Remember all those dicks out there running the show and making the world worse? You’re destined for their position – so if you don’t learn how to do that job less dickishly than they are, you’ve wasted your time. Whether you like it or not, all the adults, the ones that you think know what they’re doing, will die off. You are going to have to take their place. There’s not another batch of replacement adults and rulers out there to make decisions… there’s you. And you have to do a much, much better job than they have. And the bad news is that you have to do that all while being the most detested and maligned generation on record; the generation that has come before think you’re all lazy, whiny, self-entitled, self-obsessed losers for wanting even a sliver of the advantages they got, and they want to punish you for it. The hate you with a passion that’s absolutely unrivalled across countless centuries of grown-ups muttering “Bah! Kids these days!” They want to strip you of your voting rights, lumber you with debt, deny you prospects and shit on your happiness – and you’ve got 3-4 years to learn how to tell them you’re not going to fucking take it any more. You’ve got 3-4 years to unlearn everything they taught you that was to make them feel better, and learn that you have to take the keys to the planet from them before they can cause any more harm to it.

You’re not here to learn chemistry, you’re here to make the world a better place by learning that chemistry. So don’t waste your time.

Pray Tell, What is a “Useless” Degree?

I’ll keep the details of this anonymous, because I’m not that much of a tool, but spotted on a Facebook comment’s section somewhere (paraphrased):

I think if you don’t use your degree you should pay for it. You shouldn’t do a useless degree, and paying for it will make kids think about the debt they’ll get into.

I’ll get the dickishness out of the way first: this person’s publicly accessible Facebook profile shows what their educational background is, and what their current employment is. Naturally, the two don’t match up. Ah, you studied psychotherapy but are now in project management? Tut tut. You’ll have to pay it back now, hope that job pays well!

The trouble with suggestions like this is that they get so many thumbs up and “yeah, we should do that!” from people – but they’re absolutely insensible. They literally couldn’t be enforced.

For starters, who gets to decide what a “useless” degree is? Some randomer on Facebook who happily taps and types away their opinions? Or perhaps worse, a cabinet minister whose sole experience of higher education is having “strong views” on it. If we are going to draw a ring around “useless” degrees and warn people off them, then surely we need to know where to put that ring, right?

“Ooh, I know!” pipes up Margaret, from Finance, in the front row “things like Music!”.

Ah yes, that useless degree. No one uses that. Well, apart from all major opera singers, choral singers, soloists and those famous people who you hear on Radio 3 (or Classic FM if you’re not a fan of classical music) and who can get paid quite a wad for what they do. They’re all graduates or some college or university, and clearly such a thing was useless to them.

“Well, what about English? Who needs English as a degree? We already speak it!” – Well, Brian from Marketing, people with those degrees tend to have written a lot, essays and the like, and they tend to get pretty good at it. They end up getting jobs as copywriters, or journalists, or senior planners or any other thing that might call upon the need to be able to type more than a Facebook post, and by a reasonable deadline.

We could go on forever. The irrational hate-on people have for arts degrees has probably been examined elsewhere, so how about I propose an example?

I have a second-year student who is going to graduate and become an army officer. “Ah! He’s not using his degree!” shouts our original poster. “See, there! Why should he get an education on us if he’s going to throw it away?”

Well, he could step into a specialism around NBC warfare, where a chemistry degree will come in handy given the nature of the “C” in NBC. (I mean, I have no personal clue how the internal make-up of our armed forces work, but I assume they’ll have people looking into that sort of thing) Is he using his degree then? Or perhaps he won’t even do that and just be an infantry officer. Is he using his degree, then?

No?

What about the communication skills he’s picked up on from the presentations undergraduates give? What about the self-discipline and dedication to sit in the library on a night when everyone else goes out to a bar? What about the ability to research and work with others in a team? Or his in-depth knowledge about how to handle substances carefully and safely? Surely, as a chemistry degree is more than rote-learning how atoms stick together, he must be using it to good effect, right? Right?

fees

And that’s why such bizarre suggestions are nonsensical (even UKIP’s proposal to make STEM subjects free-of-fees). You teach and learn more than just the core subject at university level, and the diversity of subject matter and activities mean you can’t ring the entire degree and call it “useful” or “useless”. By many metrics, my degree was “useless” owing to my eventual specialism – I probably use less than 30% of that information on a daily basis. Did I therefore waste 70% of the taxpayer contribution to that degree? And should I therefore repay only 70%? Or maybe my estimate is wrong and it’s actually 70% I use on a daily basis and I only repay 30%?

Indeed, how do we even begin to work on these metrics? Does only your final income count? If so you don’t have to pay back your fees or student loan if you become a millionaire, but if you land anything less than £20k a year we get to punish you for it?

Who gets to figure all this out and make it right? Magical “Common Sense” going to help you out there?

There are a lot of problems within higher education – how it’s treated as an expectation for the middle classes, how the government misuses it as a panacea for social mobility, and how a continued attitude towards treating it as a consumer product is converting universities into bigger schools rather than universities – but none of that is fixed by creating an artificial demarcation between “useful” and “useless” degrees. To do so would be to tell a certain class of people that they arbitrarily don’t deserve the shot at HE or even just the experience. And if you want to draw that line, you had better come up with a better reason of where to put it than “because I said so”.