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Re: Opening at East Central College

One gathers that the description was either a fictitious posting,
intended to comment upon the state of higher education (though the
college is not fictitious), or a "disclaimer" written to counteract a
Actually this post is very similar to what is happening in high school, and
it might be a warning of things to come.

One important issue was the course for elementary school teachers. This
type of course should be completely PER oriented. There is some excellent
material written at Dickinson College by Priscilla Laws' collaborators which
can server as the basis for an elementary school teacher course in physical
science. Such a course needs to address the same issues as a conventional
research based physics course, but at a lower level. It should also be
designed to promote an increase in the Piagetian level, especially
proportional reasoning, control of variable, two variable reasoning, and
conservation reasoning. There are certainly other good materials available,
but the anonymous poster did not seem to show any awareness of this.

I would really wonder if the dean of an engineering school would wish to
graduate incompetent engineers who would give his school a bad reputation in
industry. After all the reputation of the school rests on the ability of
the graduates.

If this is a genuine post by someone at the school in question, my sympathy
is not that high. They apparently have not tried to implement research
based strategies to teach the students. Once such strategies are used, it
may be possible to markedly improve the students' abilities. One of the
reason why the students are low is because the educational system has failed
them up to that point by not using research based pedagogy. Some of these
students can and should be salvaged.

John M. Clement
Houston, TX

much more positive advertisement that shall soon be appearing for an
actual position. In the latter case, I would guess that it is
written either by the person leaving the position, or a potential
colleague, given the anonymous nature of the email address of the

After reading the description of the job that is described
in the letter below, it is a wonder why anyone would
apply for such a job. Is it possible that the job has some
real perks to balance the negative job description?
Perhaps a bonus of several hundred thousand dollars
for each student that really learns despite the problems?

Herb Gottlieb from New York City
( Where things are "wonderful" in comparison)