Earlier this week, there were a couple of articles separated by a few pages in the paper that formed a connection in my warped little mind.

On the front page of Wednesday’s Metro section was a story about the efforts being taken by teachers to stop student cheating on the ubiquitous spring standardized tests.

Pretty much the usual stuff, which actually said more about the lack of validity in the exams than anything else.

Then towards the back of the section there was the obituary for Don Herbert, better known a couple of generations back as Mr. Wizard.

Except for watching reruns after it was canceled in the mid 60’s, I don’t remember seeing his many of his original shows, and only vaguely remember some of his later work.

However, one of my professors in college presented Herbert’s program as an example of good teaching for us to emulate.

In these simple black and white shows, Mr. Wizard was enthusiastic about his subject, respecting the intelligence of the kids and always encouraging his audience to experiment and use their imagination.

It’s too bad teachers today have to spend so much time on test preparation and administration instead of channeling Mr. Wizard.

mr. wizard, science education, standardized testing