Messenger - Vol. 1, No. 1, Page 21
Fall 1991
Alumni Profile; A teacher with a global view

     John Anderson's four-year-old teaching career has taken him from
Botswana to Brooklyn.
     The 1986 graduate was a secondary school biology teacher in the
Peace Corps for three years in Botswana, a country bordered by South
Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  Upon his return to the U.S., he
enrolled in the Peace Corps Fellows Program in Teachers College,
affiliated with Columbia University.  At night, he attends graduate
school classes in New York City, and during the day he teaches biology
to special education students in Brooklyn's Boys and Girls High
     "While I was growing up, I was given a lot," says the Newark,
Del., native about why he joined the Peace Corps.  "This was a way to
give back a little bit."
     Schools are well-funded by the Botswana government, according to
Anderson. Setswana is the native language but classes are taught in
English.  While the science curriculum is similar to that of the
United States, he points out, "One difference is that they are
required to learn more facts as opposed to learning concepts."  He
attributes this to the British system after which the Botswana schools
are modeled.
     He found that his students accepted him.  "I think as long as you
portray yourself as an ordinary person, you won't have any
     Anderson's goal was to "excite the kids in hopes that they'll
become more active in the process of learning."  He says that there
are built-in motivators for Botswanian students: a Cambridge
University-based final exam on each subject must be passed during
their senior year to advance to college and there is the belief that
good education leads to good jobs.
     Upon returning home, Anderson found less motivation in students.
"Motivation is lacking among kids in general in the U.S.--a little
more so in the inner-city."  Moreover, he said, respect for teachers
in the United States is not automatic.  It must be earned.
     When he completes the two-year program at Teachers College,
Anderson will have earned a master's degree in science education.
                                   --Bill Clark, Delaware '82