● I write to congratulate you on your letter in the current issue of Chem 13 News –– Chemistry: It’s not fun (page 3, October issue). There is certainly too much of this misguided emphasis on "fun" in so many areas these days, which reflects itself in an unwillingness to work hard.
E.J. Behrman, Professor Emeritus
Ohio State University
● It was nice to read Michael Jansen express a teacher’s point of view that is rarely heard at conferences: “We do students a huge favour by telling them like it is: chemistry (or any science) is not a walk in the park, but if you understand where you’re going, the trip can be rewarding.”
General teacher conferences, whether centered around highly controversial “latest neuroscientific” hypotheses or uncritical use of technology, too often offer quick fixes to our educational problems. But school boards and ministries can’t seem to get enough of the snake oil, and to many teachers the salesmen’s viewpoints gets as tiring and as ineffective as miracle diets.
In the same manner that the combination of glucose-fructose, sedentary lifestyle, genetics, microbiology and unknown factors combine to produce a high incidence of obesity, there are many reasons why our adolescents are not always motivated to learn.
Just making it fun, however, is only a small part of the answer.
St. Laurent QC