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Friday, May 27, 2005

Global Terror: Outsourcing Teaching!

A fascinating proposal by James D. Miller in TCS for outsourcing: Teaching.

Miller suggests there are so many qualified and under-employed people in India who could assist Americans with their study of science and mathematics by way of the internet that the cost would be quite low. Their qualification and their probable low salary requirements could reduce the student to teacher ratio down to 5:1.

Other areas that outsourcing could assist is in grading papers. His reason:

Because U.S. teachers find grading so mind-numbingly boring, outsourcing grading would make teaching a far more attractive profession, thereby allowing high schools to recruit better teachers without necessarily having to increase salaries.

These Indian teachers could also act as tutors or teaching assistants. Math tutors can be available from 5-10 each night. Spanish speaking teachers can tutor in Spanish. (Miller never mentions French teachers doing the same because it is unlikely an unemployed Frenchman can be prodded to do any work).

Miller even suggests that outsourcing teaching could enhance home schooling. Miller concludes:

Some of the best minds on the planet are trapped in poor countries, currently doomed to a miserable standard of living. But through educational outsourcing U.S. schools could directly tap these minds employing them to teach our children. Such outsourcing would not only lift many third world people out of poverty but also help the U.S. grow her 21st century knowledge economy.

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