Thursday, March 18, 2010

News from the San Diego Science Festival

Read about it here. One thing the article discusses is how difficult it is to find highly-trained science teachers. That is, it's hard to get people with physics degrees to teach physics.

An idea I've had (that I'm sure others have talked about before) is this: why do we need full-time teachers to teach each individual chapter? Sure, you want a qualified educator running the class, but for some of the specific subject matter, why not get professional physicists, engineers, biologists, etc. to come in for a few lessons on a volunteer basis? This is the model that college courses often use - one of the lecturers coordinates the overall course and brings in the other lecturers. This way it's cheap - people will do it for free, since they like volunteering for educational activities. It's also a great way to connect kids with people in science careers.

Is this being tried anywhere? What are some of the drawbacks or other benefits?

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