Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Can't muster the interest to watch. I may comment on some of the specific proposals.


70,000 new Math and Science teachers.


Great idea as a concept. We sure could use them but market incentives for high level math and hard science skills trend heavily against this ever coming to pass. Engineering careers and computer fields absorb most of our native math talent. This isn't the same thing as Clinton's 100,000 cops - the human resource here is not as fungible , hence the shortage. We can't even import enough immigrants with math degrees to fill our research programs in private industry and at universities, much less the k-12 public schools.

Why teach fresh out of college for $ 22 -29k when someone with a math degree can go to work in the computer industry for twice that and make a salary in four or five years with a Bachelor's degree what they couldn't make after 30 years in the public schools with a Ph.D ? I'm not certain how we can have brilliant math and science teachers who are also strangely unaware of basic economics.
There's a more important question: why should Americans study math or science? Except for subsidized areas e.g. medicine these are not growth fields here: wages and hiring are stagnant.

As long as we're exporting jobs and importing workers in the sciences Americans will behave rationally and avoid areas that are hard work and have limited futures.
Hi Dave,

A cognitive reason ( which would apply to k-12)is the percentage of the population who are more adept nonverbal (spatial/mathematical/logical) thinkers than verbal - those students jump to higher levels of critical thinking more quickly with math and science courses than with literature.

We won't always have the luxury of the global brain drain as a nation either - but that doesn't get to individual incentives, just societal.
I wonder if this shortage of math teachers has anything to do with my statement that a society who starts to use technology, louses its ability to keep it.

I remember back in the late 60's. My brother had gone to community college and entered the computer age. I remember watching him, as a small child would, correct computer printouts, for his work. That is when I began thinking computing is not something I want to get into.

His work consisted of page after page of 1 or 0's. He would circle a group of numbers and then move his pencil down the page and tap like thinking to himself, "those numbers must belong here, instead of where they are." As I said I was just a kid at the time. However, I did listen to myself. It was not until 1999 that I learned where the on button was on a computer, of course then there was no on button, just a switch.
Now I see courses in computer applications and people think they are learning computers. People are getting degrees in fuzzy logic, believing it has something to do with computers, instead of life. I am not sure, but I believe my brother could read a computer screen like the ones shown in the Matrix movie. I wonder who, outside of India, where they tried to obtain people to replace him before he retired, could do likewise?

Of course maybe we don't need technology anymore. We got our kids learning how to kill things. First they learn OODA, then they develop hand an eye coordination and they are set. While this is only going on inside the computer, our children are learning how to play the game, while not understand why the game needs to be played. Apparently, to a certain degree, that is what liberal education takes care of.
Wow, larry.... I have absolutely no idea what your point was.

So you don't like computers. Good for you. Differences make the world go 'round, &c.

But "a society who starts to use technology, louses its ability to keep it"? (I assume you mean "loses", not "louses".) What exactly does that mean?

We've been using technology of various sorts for millennia. How have we lost the ability to "keep it"? (Keep what? The technology? We certainly keep the technology we use -- otherwise we couldn't use it anymore, because we wouldn't have it!)

And how exactly does learning the OODA loop and hand/eye coordination mean "we don't need technology anymore"?

I'm confused.
BTW, Mark, the starting salary in the CPS for Bachelor's only is $39,000.
Hi Dave,

Yes but you have to live in the city of Chicago as a term of employment with CPS - 39K does not go quite as far there as it does to the west or northwest of the city. The same can probably said for places like San Francisco or New York though I don't think they have residency requirements.

To an extent, CPS operates under significantly different rules and conditions than do districts in the rest of Illinois - even quasi-urban districts such as Rockford or Aurora. A legacy of legislation, politics, demographics and size.
Hey Dave,

Dr. Von, who has far more familiarity with the upper reaches of CPS than do I, posted in response to your earlier comment:

I don't think the opint Bush was making about the math and science teachers was to be able to directly compete with the computer and software companies. He wants to offer incentives to make it more attractive. Saying to people you won't be rich if you take this job, but if you do it, you will be comfortably middle clas until the day you die. Also, there are non-monetary advantages to becoming a teacher. Three month summer vacations, to do reasearch or whatever, lifetime job security, and of course all fo the pension adn health benefits teachers get. Probably not enough to even it out, but certainly enough so people will be able to consider a job etaching even if they want to live a middle class lifestyle.
For me, this is a complicated idea that I had, and I don’t know if it has much validity. I will try to explain.

I am thinking that when a society actually begins to use technology; that is the time they begin falling behind in technology. Of course a society has many cycles of growth and retreat. When one generation leads a more liberal lifestyle; the offspring tend to be more conservative. I don’t know if anyone has documented this phenomenon but I have seen the general tread, having graduated from high school in 1971. It seemed to me like those people who were the hippies of the 60’s had children who seemed pretty conservative (normal) to me. I believe the generations go in cycles.

Technology also goes in a cycle. One generation develops fun gadgets; the next generation plays with said gadgets. The generation that plays with the gadgets has less chance and need to understand the technology, which the generation before it built. I am thinking of the process in which we are using computers to write programs. If this is what we are doing, it should be making the generation who is using computers to write programs less able to duplicate the achievements of the generation before it. This would be especially true if the generation who first developed the technology decided to outsource the production outside of the society who is benefiting from the technology.

The math teachers don’t want to teach the up-coming generation math, which I believe is what Zenpundit was saying. Instead they want to become part of the industry, which uses technology. The other generation, who doesn’t get enough math teachers and are not properly instruction on how to build the new technology, likewise uses technology to amuse themselves instead of learning how it is made. Nether generation is building the necessary knowledge base on how to reproduce the technology developed by the generation before them. They are using computer applications to carry on business and pleasure; they are not developing new technologies just new applications. Applications are where the money is; computers got them in the position to use applications. Wealth is for the society who develops technology.

Of course the computer industries are developing their own universities and are making sure the technology is being invented and reinvented all the time. Also, I am sure individual people of each generation want to learn how everything works and do learn. But those computer industries are tending to move to another society, with a different rule-set of implicit laws. This leaves the society, in which both generations are using the technology, vulnerable. They may actually become dependent on other societies for their technology.

Of course not all the teacher will go into industry, either by choice or by design. Likewise not all the undereducated people will become computer junkies. So there really is no conspiracy going on.

Of course the significant outcome that does transpire, the amount of teachers that use technology and non-students who use technology in the equation, will be exponentially significant. This is because the math teachers who are becoming user of technology and the undereducated that are using technology cancel each other out, literally. So the sum game would be zero. However, there is potentially another “player” in the game. This is the player who wants both generations to fail. This person could represent any sovereign society because, potentially, they don’t exist. However, this sovereign society acts like an inductor currant, manipulating the teacher and the lost student with its potential energy. This creates a non-zero sum game. Because it is an induction network, the sovereign society, who want both to fail, can run on different potential energy (political force) or different kinetic energy (people) and still output the same wattage (power), (GDP). So there you go; this should have helped to clarify what I was getting at.

It seems to me that what we call technology is really a very frail concept that we take for granted. What technology goes to China stays in China. If anything comes out it will be only goods and services. Maybe this is a great concept; maybe they don’t have any technology we need. Maybe technology has a shelf life and so has to be dumped every now and then. I am just not sure.

Computer games teach the strategy of war. The strategy I am most familiar with is OODA (observe, orient, decide and act). The strategy might go something like the following. The child must first observe the rules of the game, how the players move, and the different enemy. They then need to orient themselves into a position of strength by deciding which scenario of game to play or rule-sets to use. They then decide which combatants to use and act, or play the game. So a person could learn about war, without really trying. I am just saying at least they are learning a trade.

Actually I now love computers. When I was young I thought it was a waste of time looking at pages and pages of 1 and 0’s. Now I have icons. Even AutoCAD is taking out the command line, which I am not sure I approve. A picture of the CAD drawing for one of my project is at http://www.mhcc.edu/pages/1925.asp. It is a solid model of a steam cleaner used for carpet cleaning, just to prove I don’t really hate computers. I am thinking of myself as one of the users of technology. I couldn’t actually make one, I could order parts from China though, I bet.

Larry Dunbar
Post a Comment

<< Home
Zenpundit - a NEWSMAGAZINE and JOURNAL of scholarly opinion.

My Photo
Location: Chicago, United States

" The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances as though they were realities" -- Machiavelli

Determined Designs Web Solutions Lijit Search
02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 / 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 / 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 / 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 / 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 / 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 / 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 / 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 / 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 / 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 / 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 / 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 / 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 / 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 / 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 / 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 / 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 / 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 / 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 / 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 / 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 / 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 / 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 / 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 / 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 / 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 / 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 / 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 / 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 / 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 / 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 / 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 / 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 / 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 / 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 / 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 / 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 / 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 / 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 / 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 / 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 / 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 / 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 / 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 / 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 / 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 / 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 / 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 / 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 / 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 / 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 / 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 / 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 / 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 / 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 / 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 / 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 / 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 /

follow zenpundit at http://twitter.com
This plugin requires Adobe Flash 9.
Get this widget!
Sphere Featured Blogs Powered by Blogger StatisfyZenpundit

Site Feed Who Links Here
Buzztracker daily image Blogroll Me!