Who is Indore's best physics teacher

How much knowledge do teachers need?

When children start school, they are excited about science. At the end of the school career, physics and mathematics are the least popular subjects. Something is wrong here - but are new reforms going in the right direction?

What is the role of a teacher in an age of internet videos, smartphones and online encyclopedias? Does the teacher lose his role as a provider of facts because students can get their information themselves anyway? How much technical knowledge is required in teacher training? Should the main focus be more on pedagogical training? In Austria, the future of teacher training is currently being hotly debated - all countries have to ask themselves the underlying question: What is the role of teachers and how much specialist knowledge do they need?

One of the main tasks of teaching in a school is to bring students interested in intellectual subjects. The teachers I fondly remember today were those who showed an enthusiasm for their own subject. If someone is standing in the classroom and finds what they have to say really exciting, exciting and important, then the lessons can hardly be boring. On the other hand, the school lessons were painfully tormenting, when we had the feeling that the teacher actually feels bored himself about what he is talking about. But you can only muster up the necessary enthusiasm for your own subject if you feel at home in your own subject and have acquired in-depth knowledge.

One of the best teachers of my school days was a biologist, who in his spare time occupied himself with lichenology on a scientific level - the research of lichens, those inconspicuous crusty to tufted plants that can be found on tree bark or stones. This is hardly a field of science that, as a seventeen-year-old, one would voluntarily place at the top of one's list of priorities - but because of his enthusiasm and his vast knowledge of it, the teacher managed to arouse our interest in it. For months we collected samples, cut them up under the stereo magnifying glass and analyzed them in the microscope. It didn't make me a lichenologist, but it certainly taught me a lot about science.

It is a dangerous mistake to believe that a teacher only needs to know what he has to teach students in his or her subject. You can only explain complex topics in an understandable way if you know a lot more about them than you tell the students. Only if the teacher's specialist knowledge goes much deeper than what he actually presents to his students in class can he assess which aspects are particularly important and where the line between permissible simplification and misleading distortion of facts runs. Only a teacher who can confidently deal with surprising questions from particularly clever students can do a really good job. Anyone who ashamedly tries to get out of such situations by declaring that this is not subject matter, so you don't have to know that, will immediately dampen any budding enthusiasm among the students at the first glimmer.

This is particularly a problem in the natural sciences. In order to be able to teach evolution theory, quantum physics or probability theory, you need a lot of prior knowledge. Exactly those subjects that are scientifically particularly challenging, in which it is particularly difficult for teachers to remain technically competent, are the most unpopular subjects. I don't think that's a coincidence. Teachers themselves are often overwhelmed in terms of content and cheat themselves over lesson topics by excluding certain areas or sticking to the textbooks in a boring and stubborn way. This is not a good solution for the students. We need teachers who have themselves received excellent professional training. We need teachers who really care about their subject. We need teachers who are so enthusiastic about their subject that their spark of enthusiasm shines a light on the minds of the students.

It goes without saying that well-founded pedagogical training is also essential. Those who are trained as teachers today are already in the classroom much earlier and much more often during their training than in previous decades - and that is a good thing. Those who want to teach small children will hardly encounter any technical challenges, but pedagogical and social ones very often. However, those who teach young people in the last few years of school have to meet completely different technical requirements: If we want to educate students to deliver top intellectual performance and to immerse themselves intensively in their favorite subjects, then we need teachers who, in turn, have experience with specialist depth . Devaluing the specialist training of teachers and believing instead that with pedagogical qualifications and Wikipedia one can teach any topic anyway would be a mistake that could cause immense damage.