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SylviaInCanada Report 17 Oct 2020 17:53

There is much more to teaching than many people think ................. from my own experience and watching the several family members and friends who are or have been teachers at all levels of education.

You don't need a teaching degree to be a good teacher ............ and you don't think about paradigms, you just think about "how can I get across to this kid who doesn't like school and every other teacher hates"!


SylviaInCanada Report 17 Oct 2020 17:49

Sharron .............. that is precisely why the post-secondary colleges here that teach trades are mainly back in person. There is some stuff that can be taught online but the practical work cannot.

It is the same for much laboratory work at the university, it cannot be taught on-line, although it is amazing how much can be learnt that way.

The problem has been to work out how to do the on-site courses safely ......... it's meant dividing classes into at least half, setting up extra stations to work at, getting all the PPE needed, plexiglass dividers at stations, etc etc. I don't know about the UK, but they were NOT allowed to re-open those classes until they satisfied the WorkSafeBC regulations, and the similar workers' regulations in other provinces.

I know in BC that colleges and universities and the teachers there were working almost non-stop from March until September to ensure all those conditions were met, and I'm sure the same thing happened in every other province. You've seen what Caroline's daughter was doing for much the summer in Caroline's post above.

But many science classes at universities and colleges are actually taught in two halves ............ there is the lecture hall and then the laboratory.

The lectures could have upwards of 200 or 300 students there, the laboratories a maximum of about 40 or 50 depending on the size of the lab.

So, the lectures can be done on-line, some of the labs (eg, describing, showing and demonstrating equipment used) can be done online, but then students would go on campus for one lab session a week.

In fact, there are NO lab sessions fro one of the 1st year chemistry classes at UBC, and there has not been for 3 or 4 years!


Sharron Report 17 Oct 2020 13:20

I would have missed a lot of burned fingers and clothes if I had learned to weld on-line!

The first thing they should have taught was that hot metal doesn't look hot!


Caroline Report 17 Oct 2020 12:26

Those who can, do; those who can't, teach......


maggiewinchester Report 17 Oct 2020 07:06

I'm rather concerned that RTR, who claims to teach believes "the gap between standard teaching paradigms and everyday reality is deep and wide".

There are, and always have been, changing paradigms of the idea of a teacher , but a teacher is pretty poor if their language or philosophy is not able to be understood by their pupils (of whatever age).


Caroline Report 17 Oct 2020 05:11


More than us mere mortals obviously.


SylviaInCanada Report 17 Oct 2020 03:27

Gawd, we have a bloomin' Renaidsance Man!!

How many lives does one have to live to do everything and go everywhere??


Linda Report 16 Oct 2020 23:34

My youngest grandson is finding it very hard to settle back in school he is seven and I think it was because he had so much time off school and in that time his mum was very I'll with the virus and off work for six months only just gone back to work but still suffering so this might be on his little mind hard times for us all


maggiewinchester Report 16 Oct 2020 23:01

Please explain how "the gap between standard teaching paradigms and everyday reality is deep and wide".
And why /how "Lack of access to real live teaching is essential" ?


RolloTheRed Report 16 Oct 2020 22:47

I work part time teaching aspects of programming at a uni. Cos of covid I have suspended my classes.

In the context of this thread programming is very much a team effort with sophisticated systems for designing, checking in code and validating. Not something commonly done in the commercial world at a distance even though it seems an obvious candidate.

As with most professions the gap between standard teaching paradigms and everyday reality is deep and wide. Lack of access to real live teaching is essential.


SylviaInCanada Report 16 Oct 2020 22:37

Caroline ..................

or those who HAVE taught on-line courses????????????

Let's belittle everyone while we're at it

University and Grade school teachers

University and Grade school students


Computer programmers and software developers

Language specialists

Doctors ans surgeons



All of those, and more, teach and learn by taking courses online or by simulated 3D models.


Caroline Report 16 Oct 2020 22:21

Actually you can do computer programming online or I'm paying for my son to sit and do nothing this may not be able to programme a computer elsewhere but you can write programmes etc. As you say many jobs can be learnt to some degree online and then you have to do the really hands-on stuff....those would be the small number of students going into the Uni...or do some people know more about the uni courses than the ones actually taking them currently??


RolloTheRed Report 16 Oct 2020 20:25

Not at all airlines spend a fortune on flight simulators and pilots have to be signed off before flying the real thing with trainers on board. Flight sims are especially good for training in exceptional situations. Remember capt Sully?
Surgeons increasingly train using 3d reality systems.
in the end though day 1 of the real thing arrives.


JoyLouise Report 16 Oct 2020 18:32

Rollo, a slight exaggeration there. No would-be pilot or brain surgeon would expect to learn online, nor would we expect them to.


RolloTheRed Report 16 Oct 2020 17:57

You can learn to fly, do brain surgery and program a computer online. Then comes along day 1 of the real thing. Students who believe that future employers will buy into online degrees no hands on are kidding themselves. Employers asked to choose between desk learning and real experience will pick experience every time.

'When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It's a wonder I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn't hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall
Paul Simon


SylviaInCanada Report 16 Oct 2020 17:56

Universities and colleges here in BC are doing the same as those in Toronto ............

online courses for all subjects that can be taught that way, an absolute minimum of students AND others on campus.

In fact, going out to one of the university campuses near where I live last week was like going to a ghost town, literally.

In term time, that campus has so many residents living there that it counts as the 5 the largest town in BC. In a "normal" year, there are over 61,000 undergrads, plus over 10,000 graduate students. Then faculty, staff, cleaners, workmen etc. The streets are full of people rushing around, long queues at the bus stops, etc.

Last week .............. I saw about 25 people walking around in the central area during a 20 minute period at close to lunch time. No-one sitting around, coffee shop empty, take-out sushi shop with 2 people inside.

No international students unless they happened to have stayed here after March, not even from the US ................. but they are studying online. Exams given online.

All students have paid their tuition fees, and yes, some (?many) are complaining because those fees include charges for things like the Student Union fees, club costs, etc etc, ie, things that they cannot enjoy because they are not on campus. Residence fees would have been on top of tuition fess, so not paid unless they are in residence.

Elementary and secondary schools have a mix of students attending class with online available if required, the mix depending on the local School Board decisions


Caroline Report 16 Oct 2020 17:44

I have to say the standard of online learning has not lower from the in person teaching...the prof are actually finding it's quicker to just tape themselves doing the lecture no interruptions leaving plenty of time for both private and "public" questions from the students...some of whom would never ask anything in front of everyone in the lecture hall. Mine are also finding the lack of travel time lovely saving 2 hours in the day if there's no delay much more if there were. They've done their exams online and there's been no mass cheating from what everyone can tell.


RolloTheRed Report 16 Oct 2020 17:27

No one's trying to kill you," Clevinger cried. Then why are they shooting at me?" Yossarian asked. They're shooting at everyone," Clevinger answered. "They're trying to kill everyone."

J Heller
from Catch 22


Sharron Report 16 Oct 2020 16:57

Realistically, the dismay would be inevitable whatever action was being taken it's a bloody pandemic!

Whatever mistakes are being made, they are not making the decisions to be deliberately to the detriment of anybody.


JoyLouise Report 16 Oct 2020 16:40

I know what you mean Sharron, but it does not allay my dismay.

I still wish Boris was heeding the advice of people like Jonathan Van-Tam and John Ashton. The longer he delays the inevitable, the longer we'll be feeling the effects of his dithering and the more our critical care staff (like my niece) will feel the effects of his inadequacy.

I may add I am a swinging voter and I feel that currently, by standing up for the few, or so it seems, Andy Burnham is not helping the majority of the people in Manchester (where my niece lives and works) by his reluctance to accept the inevitable. It would be interesting to hear what Mancunians feel about their situation and whether my take is too far out as, up to now, I feel he has done a really good job.