The excellent editorial "President as Educator," Sept. 15, cites many valuable innovations advocated by the presidential candidates to improve education, but it does not address the basic need: to stimulate the student's desire to learn.
Every student has an innate curiosity - a desire and an innate ability to learn. But this can be easily smothered, not only by the lure of undesirable attractions, but also by an atmosphere of mediocrity and uninterest. Outstanding teachers, however, overcome this by stimulating the student's desire to learn.
There are many effective ways to stimulate this desire. One method is programmed instruction. This breaks down difficult subjects into parts and leads the student, step by step, through each part, thus giving understanding and retention to the ideas involved.
Unlike most innovations in education, teaching ideas and skills does not require money, but it does require the will and dedication of teachers to develop plans of education that teach ideas and not just facts.
This is true education. Stowell Mears, Darien, Conn. The key to good teaching
As an industrial physicist who desired to teach high school in America, I began my doctorate in secondary education at a major university. The material taught to teachers for certification was of a low caliber compared to the instruction given to chemists, mathematicians, physicists, and lawyers. In fact, much of the instruction is needless.
Teaching is an art, not a science. Good teachers love to teach, just as good artists love to paint. Academic training is not the key to good teachers. Rather it is their love of sharing with children who need to learn how to learn, whether they want to or not. Teaching is an unappreciated job, but someone has to do it. And those who do pave the way for better generations ahead. Is there a better job than that? Leo C. Rogers, Mesa, Ariz.