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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Aaaaaaaaaaargh! (A Rant)

    Had to get this off my chest somewhere and somehow - my 'real life' friends don't understand the pain and the trauma I suffered as a result of an ICT (Computing) lesson today!

    We're just starting a unit about Website Design and the first lesson focussing on this was today. The teacher knows that I already have design experience and know exactly what I'm doing so he just let me get on while he gave the other students a bit of a starter lesson in HTML and web page design.

    Some of the things I overheard him saying included...

    *Points to example site on projector screen*
    "Right now this page lacks the most important element in designing any page - tables. One of the requirements of this unit is to lay a site out with tables."
    (There was me sitting there with my 100% DIV layout open in front of me!)

    *Points to <head> section of an HTML page*

    "This is what tells the browser what to put at the top of the page."

    *Points to CHARSET declaration*
    "This tells the browser about what font to use on the page."

    *Points to a site with a patterned background and a few H1 tags and Times New Roman text*
    "This looks like quite a professional site and is the sort of thing you need to produce."

    It went on like this for a good half hour when he then pointed everyone to an HTML tutor site which explained how to use <b> and <font> tags etc. It might have well explained to people how NOT to follow web standards.

    It's not that I'm complaining about the teacher being stupid, it's that if you're going to teach someone how to do something, why not teach them how to do it properly? If we were taking the Computer Hardware unit I doubt very much that we would have been using AT cases and 486 Processors. What makes this different exactly?

    Glad I got that out of my system

    -Sam
    Sam Hastings

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    When I was reading about the guy using tables, I thought he was just lagging behind... wasn't too long ago presentational html was the status quo.

    But after hearing about the <head> and CHARSET errors, it sounds like homeboy is talking out of his butt.

    I'd say that it's a good thing that this guy is teaching computing and not medicine, but I have a feeling there are people who preach their ignorance in every field.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist altyfc's Avatar
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    Those who are good with computers, earn money working with them. Those who aren't, teach.

    I'm grossly generalising, of course, but I think there's some truth in it.

    Aaron

  4. #4
    Non-Member coo_t2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsm

    I'd say that it's a good thing that this guy is teaching computing and not medicine,
    Frequent bloodlettings help keep away the evil spirits that cause illness.

    --ed

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coo_t2
    Frequent bloodlettings help keep away the evil spirits that cause illness.
    When you consider the alternative of getting a hole drilled into your skull to let the evil spirits escape, bloodletting makes a lot of sense.
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast Pixellogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coo_t2
    Frequent bloodlettings help keep away the evil spirits that cause illness.

    --ed

    apparently somebody let too much blood out of this "teacher"!

  7. #7
    Non-Member bronze trophy geniusgoalie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coo_t2
    Frequent bloodlettings help keep away the evil spirits that cause illness.

    --ed

  8. #8
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    I wouldn't stress about it. I'm sure if others in your class want to take web design further, they'll learn the right way.

  9. #9
    Matt Williams revsorg's Avatar
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    The thing is, the alternative is too dreadful to contemplate - that you take over his job.
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  10. #10
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    It's the same story as a subject I did in university a year ago. The problem is not one of "those who can't, teach". These people were probably excellent web designers back in 1998 when the state of web design was very different. The problem is that they don't update their skills as the technology moves on. There are various reasons for this and I can only guess at them. One may be that lesson plans will tend not to vary much from year to year, and once they have found a good lesson plan that works well in 1998 it will be difficult for them to change it each year. Another might be that teaching takes up all of their private time so they have no time to keep working on their skills.

    If your teacher thought that the charset defined the font, and that the <head> element defined what was at the top of the screen, then perhaps they are more used to using an HTML editor like Frontpage, as was more popular back then, where the source code wasn't as important.
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  11. #11
    Put your best practices away. The New Guy's Avatar
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    Same thing for me. I had to actually de learn things for the test. I hated that class.
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  12. #12
    + platinum's Avatar
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    Yeah there are a lot of clueless teachers out there teaching webdesign, it's hardly even worth discussing with them about it. Probably read a book on it once and been to a 1 day seminar and declare themselves an expert

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    I agree that Internet technology moves really quickly and it is hard for, well, anyone to keep up. Couple that with the fact that web site design is just one portion of this class gives us some context of how much time this teacher might have been able to devote to the topic.

    That said, there's out of date, and then there's just plain wrong.
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  14. #14
    We like music. weirdbeardmt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsm
    I agree that Internet technology moves really quickly and it is hard for, well, anyone to keep up. Couple that with the fact that web site design is just one portion of this class gives us some context of how much time this teacher might have been able to devote to the topic.

    That said, there's out of date, and then there's just plain wrong.
    I'd be surprised if this guy ever declared himself "an expert". I expect, when the revisions of the curriculum were made, they realised they need some element of web design in there and as the IT teacher it is his duty (whether he likes it or not) to teach it.

    Besides, I don't see any reason why tables shouldn't be taught. These people are after all beginners; not industry-level designers. Knowing how tables work and general page display principles is very useful. For the generally intereseted and the Web Design 101 course they may do, then they could move on the more advanced issues of positioning and learning to hack a site so it displays correctly in all browsers. I'm sure if I was just starting out now and tried to jump straight into CSS I'd have given up already.
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  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard Defender1's Avatar
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    I've noticed a lot of "Web design" classes are still teaching what was teh standard back at the end of the 90's.
    Tables, presentational HTML etc.
    These days CSS is pretty much standardized.

    The schools need to update their teachers and cirriculums.
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  16. #16
    + platinum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weirdbeardmt
    Besides, I don't see any reason why tables shouldn't be taught. These people are after all beginners; not industry-level designers. Knowing how tables work and general page display principles is very useful. For the generally intereseted and the Web Design 101 course they may do, then they could move on the more advanced issues of positioning and learning to hack a site so it displays correctly in all browsers. I'm sure if I was just starting out now and tried to jump straight into CSS I'd have given up already.
    Yeah I agree tables are probably something that needs to be touched upon, but these students are most likely n00bs and its better to teach the 'correct' method (ie mainly using CSS) right from the start.

    If they aren't going to teach it properly then theres not much point teaching them at all - that is why we have all these extremly poor sites going around, the parent see's their kid doing website design at school, declares them to be able to create a company site, and boom, another horrible site on the web.

    It's like having a subject called 'intro to surgery' where they teach you how to hack peoples limbs off with a garden saw, cos that was way they did it back in the 1700's

  17. #17
    Commander Awesome DevonWright's Avatar
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    Confront him.

    Tell him what he did wrong.

    Offer to teach the class.
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  18. #18
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsm
    When you consider the alternative of getting a hole drilled into your skull to let the evil spirits escape, bloodletting makes a lot of sense.

  19. #19
    web designer
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    I had this same problem a few years ago, solution: buy your teacher a decent web standards book, and let him have a look at your CSS driven, table-less source code. If he has any passion for his job he will want to learn these new techniques. worked for me.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard Defender1's Avatar
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    They should follow the "wrong way, right way" methodology; I know it's helped me in the past.
    You show them how not to do it at first, then the correct way, and make sure the reasons are spelled out clearly.
    This way they know they shouldn't and why they shouldn't.
    I had a teacher that did just what this one did. Luckily, I knew the subject matter already and I knew better than to follow what he said.
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  21. #21
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    I hope you're not paying too much for this "education".
    Peter T Davis

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  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard Defender1's Avatar
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    Sounds like public education to me.
    If this is university level, I'd demand a refund.
    Defender's Designs
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