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Constant2 comments on Guessing the Teacher's Password - Less Wrong

62 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 August 2007 03:40AM

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Comment author: Constant2 23 August 2007 02:42:23AM 0 points [-]

"I think primacy should be given to figuring out how to optimize these learning processes, rather than justify the functional elements of the learning processes we currently have."

Part of the problem may be that a lot of the educational system simply has no proper criterion of success. What, after all, is a successful class in (say) physics? The teacher's success is measured by the students' success, but the students' success is measured by their performance on the exams, and the exams are written by the teacher, so the teacher is indirectly evaluating himself. Which is not a proper criterion of success. Even if the educational system as a whole writes a national exam to test the teacher, the fundamental problem remains, because the test is written by the same organization that is ultimately testing itself.

What is a teacher supposed to teach? How is this decided? I think there is such a large gap between learning and life that in effect a lot of learning goes untested, or tested badly (e.g., tested by the very organization whose performance is being tested).

This is presumably much less of a problem in vocational training. The value of a vocational school is tested in the workplace, and it is quickly discovered whether a particular school churns out worthless graduates.