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Thread started 21 Apr 2015 (Tuesday) 18:49
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Guess those who can't do, do teach.

 
texkam
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By The Lake in Big D
Apr 21, 2015 18:49 |  #1

I found these requirements (below) for a Photojournalism position at my local community college. I know someone who was good enough to win a Pulitzer, and work over 30 years as a photographer for one of the best newspapers around, but that's not good enough to be an adjunct Photojournalism professor at a community college? Wonder how many other top pros couldn't make the cut. Lots of great shooters out there with no masters.


- - - - Master’s degree or higher in Journalism or Photo-Journalism, or Master’s degree or higher in a related field with at least 18 graduate hours in Photo-Journalism or in Journalism with an emphasis on Photo-Journalism.- - - -




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gjl711
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Apr 21, 2015 18:56 |  #2

Just because you are capable at performing a task doesn't automatically translate into being a good teacher. I'm an engineer and have worked with some really exceptional people throughout the years but very few could have taught what they can so easily do.


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Road ­ Dog
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Apr 21, 2015 23:22 |  #3

gjl711 wrote in post #17527022external link
Just because you are capable at performing a task doesn't automatically translate into being a good teacher. I'm an engineer and have worked with some really exceptional people throughout the years but very few could have taught what they can so easily do.

But, likewise, nothing suggests that someone who meets the criteria would be a good teacher.

If someone has a Master's in Journalism, that hardly equates to that person being able to teach journalism...


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texkam
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By The Lake in Big D
Apr 22, 2015 01:05 |  #4

Just because you are capable at performing a task doesn't automatically translate into being a good teacher.

Fine, then require the graduate degree in teaching?

My point is, quit being lazy by only considering one's formal schooling. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Ronald Reagan, Mark Zuckerberg, these folks earned no postgraduate degree. This employer and others would be better served by considering the talents the candidate can bring to the position. And yes, teaching ability should be one of them.




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nathancarter
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Apr 22, 2015 11:43 |  #5

texkam wrote in post #17527455external link
Fine, then require the graduate degree in teaching?

My point is, quit being lazy by only considering one's formal schooling. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Ronald Reagan, Mark Zuckerberg, these folks earned no postgraduate degree. This employer and others would be better served by considering the talents the candidate can bring to the position. And yes, teaching ability should be one of them.


But that stuff is much more difficult to measure and categorize.


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mike_d
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Apr 22, 2015 13:56 |  #6

nathancarter wrote in post #17528013external link
But that stuff is much more difficult to measure and categorize.

And it requires someone to make a judgement call. That's something no one wants to do in today's society. Its much safer to hide behind rules, procedures, and committees.




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Road ­ Dog
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Apr 23, 2015 01:17 |  #7

texkam wrote in post #17527455external link
Fine, then require the graduate degree in teaching?

My point is, quit being lazy by only considering one's formal schooling. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Ronald Reagan, Mark Zuckerberg, these folks earned no postgraduate degree. This employer and others would be better served by considering the talents the candidate can bring to the position. And yes, teaching ability should be one of them.

Um, okay...


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AZGeorge
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Apr 24, 2015 13:51 |  #8

Many fine schools will waive those candidate filtering requirements for people who have shown excellence. Some schools, alas, are not good enough to deserve the services of a person like the OP describes.


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M_Six
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Apr 24, 2015 20:04 |  #9

Many, if not most, schools require a Masters degree to teach undergrads and a PhD to teach graduate courses.

That's not to say that having one of those degrees automatically makes you a good teacher. But it does guarantee that students at those levels are taught by someone who has succeeded at a higher level.


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tdlavigne
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Apr 25, 2015 16:46 |  #10

M.A. is pretty much the standard for teaching higher education. Here in CA it's an MFA (I thought about going into teaching at the university level as well, but the additional 3+ years of school was too much). That being said, I know one of my photography professors only had a B.A., but he also had ~30years of real world work experience, and more publications than I can even comprehend from what I saw. Other than that every Art or Photography professor I ever met had at least an M.A. (most having the MFA or PhD).

Also, not sure what the requirements are there, but there's no graduate degree in teaching here for those wishing to be college level instructors. There are varying "Art Education" graduate degrees, but those qualify you to teach k-12. So far as I know, MA and MFA (or PHD) are for College level, which is probably why the job in question is asking for an MA degree.

That being said, if your friend is really "the bee's knees", and wants the job...then why not apply? Like someone else said, most jobs will overlook requirements if you're skilled enough to do what is asked. It's kind of silly to assume that "those that can't do, teach instead", because one could apply that logic to your argument and wonder...if said photographer with all the pulitzers "can do", then why is a job teaching even on their radar?




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vfotog
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Apr 26, 2015 03:09 |  #11

texkam wrote in post #17527455external link
Fine, then require the graduate degree in teaching?

My point is, quit being lazy by only considering one's formal schooling. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Ronald Reagan, Mark Zuckerberg, these folks earned no postgraduate degree. This employer and others would be better served by considering the talents the candidate can bring to the position. And yes, teaching ability should be one of them.


Lazy? Seriously? Having standards isn't lazy. A Masters is the standard MQ (minimum qualification) for teaching a college class. Not just photojournalism, but any subject. You are demonstrating a sufficient depth of knowledge in the subject and a well-rounded education appropriate for an educator. These schools are accredited and must have a minimum standard. Teaching at the post-secondary level is highly competitive and for every position, there are a number of candidates that meet the qualifications and more. And then if you are talking a tenured position, you can have many hundreds of qualified applicants vying for a single position.




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bumpintheroad
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Apr 26, 2015 04:49 |  #12

Understand that the educational market likes very much to eat their own dog food. By requiring advanced degrees they help drive demand for people to earn advanced degrees. So, to a certain extent, they are promoting their own business.

Also, a person with an advanced degree has more experience in the higher education environment and a better understanding of how things work. These people usually have some experience as lab assistants or teaching assistants. So they understand the system.

Then there's the fact that an adjunct prof is a fairly low-level position at a community college, as evidenced by the fact that they are advertising the position. So they are looking for someone to teach the basics of photography, the technique. If this were a college or university that had an MFA program they would be recruiting people with a known reputation, such as your Pulitzer-winning friend if he expressed any interest in teaching. But even still, a college needs to meet certain criteria for accreditation, and among those criteria are how many professors have advanced degrees. Like I said, it is an industry that really loves eating their own dog food.


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PhotosGuy
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Apr 26, 2015 09:04 |  #13

bumpintheroad wrote in post #17532862external link
Understand that the educational market likes very much to eat their own dog food. By requiring advanced degrees they help drive demand for people to earn advanced degrees. So, to a certain extent, they are promoting their own business.

It's a business like anyplace else. Keeping in mind that dogs eat their own vomit, too, I've had "instructors" that were decades past their "Use By" date; instructors who were "teaching" a subject that they didn't know; & an administration that didn't care that this was the case.
One time I was told that I could have a credit to retake the class, but couldn't have a refund. Socrates would barf. The dogs would eat that, too. ; )


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S.Horton
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Apr 26, 2015 10:14 |  #14

You can never assume that the people running things are nearly as good as those who've mastered a craft or trade.

In a perfect world, the honest, competent and hard-working would carry the day and become the leaders.

But it has never been that way.

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werds
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Apr 27, 2015 10:18 |  #15

texkam wrote in post #17527009external link
I found these requirements (below) for a Photojournalism position at my local community college. I know someone who was good enough to win a Pulitzer, and work over 30 years as a photographer for one of the best newspapers around, but that's not good enough to be an adjunct Photojournalism professor at a community college? Wonder how many other top pros couldn't make the cut. Lots of great shooters out there with no masters.


- - - - Master’s degree or higher in Journalism or Photo-Journalism, or Master’s degree or higher in a related field with at least 18 graduate hours in Photo-Journalism or in Journalism with an emphasis on Photo-Journalism.- - - -


I am hoping your title was seriously just an attempt to grab attention and not your stance... I am going to assume that you are honestly looking to understand why though.

Most job ads and classifieds as well as positions in education are created by a Human Resources office in conjunction with lawyers so that the language does not get them into legal issues down the road. One should NOT assume that the description is directly connected to educators, professors, or someone who has said experience in that field. Why? Because everyone who is not an educator has mandated for quite a long time many of the ways education is run and it's many facets. Even in post-secondary it has become subject to many federal and state laws that cause a schism between what the average person assumes and what is reality.

Now back to the classified, because of the need to meet certain legal requirements and because quite often the first step of the employment process is NOT handled by anyone with an educational background you have generic requirements put together that match a legal description of the position. This is done because every penny is accounted for, and time spent on sifting through resumes and applications is money lost. Do I personally agree with this? As someone who has been a part of the hiring process in my previous jobs and as someone who is also an educator I see both sides... you can easily lose good applicants that are non-traditional because of this but it streamlines the process for that human resources person responsible for being the first line in the application process.

Quite often though with ingenuity, people that do not meet these requirements but have an extensive background in the field can still manage to get into interviews. It isn't difficult with a little bit of work, networking, or understanding of the system. As has been addressed by other comments part of being hired into a position is understanding how things function in that system. Hiring someone with those minimal qualifications usually (not always) assures that they at least have familiarity with the system that their students would be going through.

Now as to talented people doing and the untalented being teachers... that is self aggrandizing at it's best... in any population you will always have a top percentage that are above and beyond everyone else in that field period - true geniuses. There will then be a layer that is talented above the norm but not genius, and a layer that is just above the norm, those that are at the norm and etc... Just like in ANY industry you get a mixture of all those in education as well. I have met and worked with some people that could easily be in a field of industry and be in those upper layers but choose not to.

Also just being able to do something does not qualify you to teach it. I had a geometry professor teaching a 201 level course. For his day job he was a civil engineer, Russian immigrant that had graduated from a top academy, and had some rather impressive credentials. While sitting in that class I KNEW the guy was legit. He knew his stuff forwards and backwards and could demonstrate his knowledge with ease... but he failed miserably at being able to TEACH the material to those of us who were not on his level. There were only 4 of us in a class of 16 that were even holding a passing grade... and none of us had better than a middling B. We struggled translating what he was saying into something usable for the average non-math genius. This is just one of various examples I have of going through college courses with professors that are well versed in their arena but not in the arena of actual education.

I have also had teachers and professors that are not, and self-professed btw, the most experienced in a field, but could teach the concepts and ideas of their given educational field to a 5 year old in a manner that would allow them to grasp complex items.

I could go on and on in this post, but not sure if I want to wade too far into a debate as I am merely assuming what your stance is... and assuming it was meant in honest good faith...instead of in the manner that most of society appears to perceive the field of education or educators altogether...

BTW - full disclosure I am a high school teacher, I have been in military service, worked in industry, and at a point recognized I got personal satisfaction from teaching. Take that fwiw, but hopefully you don't take that as I became a teacher because I was too incompetent to do anything otherwise...


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