Robert Conlee

ROBERT CONLEE:


Yeah, I’m Robert Conlee, the Dean of the College of Health and Human Performance at Brigham Young University.

A well-educated teacher, um---well I guess a well-educated teacher, uh, if you just looked at subject matter would be a---a teacher who is, uh, deeply prepared in the content area that they’re prepared in.  Uh, a math teacher ought to know a lot about math and biology teacher about biology and so forth so they ought to have good---uh, secular knowledge in their---in their area.  But I think a well-educated teacher ought to be broadly educated as well.  I think a well-educated teacher, uh, because they have a lot of influence over, uh, young people, uh, should be able to speak to other areas of their, uh---uh, of academic preparation.  Uh, they ought not to be so narrow that they’re just specialized in math or bio---biology but they ought to---ought to be able to speak to---to a variety of issues and I think they ought to, particularly, be educated in, um, in civic issues so that they could be an example, uh, of the types of things that, uh, we want, uh, a well-educated populous to---to be involved in.  That is, uh, civil involvement and---and, uh---uh, being knowledgeable of government and---and, uh---uh, understanding why we should vote and participate in civil things and so forth.  I think a well-educated teacher ought to be, um, and example of, uh, the type of person that teachers ought to be.  Teachers, uh, are automatically examples to students whether they be junior high school students, high school students or university students.  They should be an example of these students in a broader area than just their discipline.  Uh, I think a well-educated teacher should be a teacher who has good pedagogical preparation, that is, they have a broad pedagogical base where the---they can teach students who have different learning abilities and different, uh, learning methods, actually.  So, uh, they could, uh---uh, recognize that some---certain students don’t learn, uh, from the same pedagogical methodology.  For instance, a---a lecture may not be appealing to every person in the class and therefore the, uh, faculty member or the---the---the teacher should be prepared to incorporate, uh, inculcate other types of a pedagogical methods to reach those individuals who he may not or she no---may not be reaching.  So they should have good, uh, pedagogy skills I think.  Um, they should prepare to---to nurture, uh, the students in their class, to love their students in their class.  Teachers should love teaching and they should love the people that they teach.  If they have a hard time with either one of those they probably ought not to be in teaching.  Uh, it just seems to me that we need to love those that we teach. So I, uh---uh, perhaps rambling a little bit, but, uh, I believe, uh, these are essential attributes to being a good teacher.

Yeah, actually I can.  Uh, one of my sons---all of my children went to Mountain View High School in, uh, Provo---I mean in---in Orem, and there’s a physics teacher at Mountain View High School that had a particular influence on---on my youngest son.  Uh, this physics teacher was a very well educated man and he decided he wanted to teach high school physics.  He in fact had a PHD in physics and he wanted to teach at the high school level.  Uh, and he brought all of his skills and all of the ex---his experiences of research and---and, uh, the PhD background, preparation background, to a high school level.  And my son recognized that he---that he really likes teaching and he really liked helping the students master physics.  And so he spent a lot of time, uh, with the students trying to help them understand the concepts of physics.  Uh, it was probably one of the few teachers that my s---one of---any one of my children came home and said, ‘you know, Mr. Thomas is a great guy and he really has helped me.  I want to be a---a physics teacher myself when I get older.’  So yes, uh---uh that’s one example that’s uh---that’s uh---comes readily to mind.

Well I think it speaks to GE, uh---uh, defends GE in a sense.  Uh---uh the well educated, uh, university student, uh, is one who has ex---has had exposure to a variety of disciplines, and um, may not necessarily like every discipline, but---but has a---and exposure to the disciplines to the point where they can speak intelligently, uh---in---in a variety of areas.  If these individuals now go on to teach, uh, um---they probably will be able to speak intelligently to any question that’s raised, uh, in a classroom.  Uh, where, um---uh, where the students are wondering about this and that, how it relates to their particular discipline and so forth.  The more narrow we are the---the less likely we are to be able to use our---our preparation to reach out to those students who are---want to be reached but may not be through the particular discipline with teaching but maybe, uh, a related discipline or---or just a question that might come up in a class that---that you could---just could be fostered by something that was said in one discipline that triggers a question in another.  I just think we ought to be able to speak in a variety of disciplines.  Not---not necessarily to specialize in a variety of disciplines, but---but have a broad, general education and---so that we can to that.

Yeah, actually, uh (laughs) uh I’m a---I’m a physical educator, always played sports and was kind of an athletic kind of guy and---and always knew I wanted to be a physical educator.  I---um---and so as I was doing my undergraduate preparation I---I played particular attention to my physical education classes.  But I was exposed to, uh---uh, class that was, uh, a cultural arts class, it was a general education class, we had to be exposed to---to, um, art, to music, and to, uh, theater.  And, uh---I remember being made to go to a concert and, uh, in this concert, uh, I---uh---for the first time I listened to and watched a concert, uh, orchestra, uh, play a concert piece.  It happened to be, uh---now I’m not going to be able to remember the name of it now, but it’s the, uh, ---heck, I can’t say the name of it to you now but it---it’s one of my favorite pieces even today.  Uh---I want to say ‘Bolero’, that’s not the name of it.  It’s---it’s the---well it’s the piece, uh, where they’re marching up the---the roman, uh, walkway, uh---it’d be very familiar to you if I hummed it or something like that, but---yes---clearly, uh, and I---and I had to go to a gallery and look at paintings.  Never had that experience before.  Today I just---I---I love to go to galleries.  I’m not---I’m not a great, uh---a---artist, uh, aficionado but that turned me away from just wanting to play and to be more cultural.  Uh, so I---yeah, that---I think there’s a good example.

Uh, well---uh---no.  Actually, uh, you asked about, uh, what it takes to be an educated, um, teacher and I---I---I’ve tried to share those things with you.