Apparently I'm doing a short (if somewhat spread out) series on education (previously here, here, and here). In this installment I'll discuss what I see as a replacement axiom to the teacher myth: teachers are the solution or helping teachers helps students.
First, a disclaimer: No one single group of people, no one single act can "fix" education. Students, teachers, administrators, parents, policy makers, and the general public are all responsible for the current state of education. (And the current state of education isn't all that bad, let's remember.) But certainly, if not agreeing that teachers are the most important, we can agree that they're important.
Many of the current educational efforts revolve around the idea of "holding teachers accountable." This often leads to efforts involving test scores and record keeping, only serving to increase the administrative burden on teachers. Teachers have a lot to do. Help them do it faster and they'll be able to spend more time actually teaching. They certainly can't become better teachers without that extra time for training, lesson plans, etc. Give teachers additional training, mentorship, etc. and they'll become better teachers. And that, in turn, will help students.
So, from a computer science point of view, what can we do to help teachers (and thus help students)? What can we automate? What tasks drain teachers' time while not giving them much in return? If you're a teacher, what tedious things do you spend your time doing? Some of these problems will likely be easy to solve, while some will require more creativity. We should tackle both.
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