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MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE
TEACHERS IN THE PEACE CORPS
The teaching of mathematics and science is
one of the most needed contributions Peace
Corps Volunteers can make to -the developing
nations. The future of these nations hinges direct-
ly on their ability to speed technological and
industrial development. To begin, they must
have trained technicians.
In British Honduras there were no teachers
able to instruct secondary students in advanced
science. Now Volunteers are enabling Hondurans
to pass the standard British-type GCE examina-
tion, a prerequisite to college entrance.
In Ghana, Peace Corps Volunteers are helping
fill a constant need for science and mathematics
instruction at the secondary level.
In Colombia, Volunteers are helping establish
mathematics and science training centers where
Colombian teachers may increase their compe-
tence by studying the latest developments in
Although about one-third of all Peace Corps
Volunteer teachers teach some mathematics and
science, the demand for Volunteers grows faster
than the Peace Corps can fill requests. Volun-
teer teachers will continue to be needed abroad
until enough host-country students are educated
to staff classrooms.
If you are a mathematics or science major with
a B.A. or a graduate degree, the Peace Corps
offers you an opportunity to help lay the founda-
tion for technological progress by teaching these
subjects in classrooms overseas. For example,
Volunteer Jane Gibson taught at the University
College for Women, an affiliate of Osmania Uni-
versity, Hyderabad, India Now home after two
years' service, Jane recalls, "There was no one
textbook that teachers and students all bought
and followed in the chemistry course I taught.
*L ... .. .. 4l-
The students depended almost entirely on lec-
ture notes given by their teachers and seldom
referred to books. The emphasis in their school-
ing was different-the students knew some things
better than American students and had not heard
of other things which American students know
well. When discussing the law of indestructi-
bility of matter, I discovered none of my students
had ever seen E-=mc or heard of Einstein's
theories, but they could go into great detail about
the properties and uses of sulfuric acid and
elaborate on three methods for its manufacture."
While there is no "typical" Peace Corps en-
vironment, Jane's description of a Volunteer's
life in India relates to many Peace Corps assign-
ments in Asia, Africa and South America. She
says, "People appreciated that we were different
Americans compared to diplomats, tourists and
high-level experts who came to India in what
seemed to be luxury. As Peace Corps Volunteers
go, we lived pretty well. We had running water
and electricity. The university provided a large,
empty stucco house which we managed to furnish
attractively with furniture borrowed from the
university and straw mats and cane chairs from
"Peace Corps Volunteers in India are provided
with bicycles for transportation. I traveled four
miles from our house to Women's College some-
times by bus, but usually by bike to save time.
More than one cyclist ran into the curb at the
sight of a lady, much less an American lady, on
a bicycle. They also had difficulty in believing
us when we asked for third-class train tickets,
since they expected us to travel first class. Every-
one appreciated our feeble attempts to speak
If you become a Volunteer, you will probably
be faced with a chronic shortage of supplies in
secondary schools. You may have to use the
"bailing wire and chewing gum" technique. You
may build your own blackboards, or line up 50
students at one microscope. You may be de-
scribing the moon's pull on the tides to children
who have never seen an ocean, or the polar ice-
* -r .7
caps to pupils who have never heard of snow.
You may encounter age-old traditions and out-
dated methods of education; you may find that
the religious beliefs of your students allow little
acceptance of the scientific theories you teach.
You may have to improvise, like the Peace
Corps biology teacher in Malawi who said, "One
of the first things we did here was to start a col-
lection of plants and animals to learn the major
phyla. The students starting bringing in snakes
and bugs and putting them in cans I had lying
around. The only trouble was, they would some-
times forget to tell me, and I would open a can
for something only to find a six-inch centipede
or scorpion in it.
"Another day I walked into the lab and found
a six-foot cobra coiled up on the floor. We have
plenty of them around, and to the delight of the
students, I didn't know this one was dead."
Peace Corps Volunteers are demonstrating the
" I /
world over that a shortage of textbooks and sup-
plies is no insurmountable handicap to scientific
and mathematical education, if the teacher has
As a Peace Corps Volunteer science or mathe-
matics teacher, you will be helping to shape a
country's future in your classroom, whether you
conduct botany labs at the edge of a tropical
rain forest, or graduate seminars at a university
in a nation's capital. Each Volunteer meets the
challenge of Peace Corps teaching in his own
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
College and university graduates without edu-
cation courses and teacher training, as well as
certified and experienced teachers, are in great
If you have a liberal arts degree with a major
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or minor in mathematics or one of the sciences,
you are eligible to apply. More than 70 per cent
of all Volunteer teachers abroad had never
taught before entering the Peace Corps. The
experience of these Volunteers has demonstrated
that the Peace Corps training program equips
college graduates without previous teacher train-
ing to become effective overseas teachers.
About two-thirds of all Volunteer teachers
serve in secondary schools. If you hold a B.A.
degree, you will probably teach at this level.
Volunteers with graduate degrees may qualify
to teach in colleges and universities.
Experienced teachers especially are invited to
serve in the Peace Corps. They often provide
excellent balance for programs which are made
up of Volunteers who have had no previous ex-
perience. Many experienced teachers have found
that their work overseas with the Peace Corps
brings new insights into their professional careers.
The need for teachers is both real and imme-
diate. Nearly all have been assigned a full time
teaching load and are given a degree of teaching
and auxiliary responsibilities that is seldom the
lot of the beginning teacher in an American sec-
ondary school. There is no easing-in or adjust-
ment period; the Volunteer is usually thrust into
a full time job that makes tremendous demands
upon his mental and physical resources. There is
much to do and few professional people to do it.
This is the challenge offered to a Peace Corps
teacher. If you accept, you can play a direct role
in helping those you teach achieve a better way
of life. You may open the door of knowledge to
a child who might otherwise never have a chance
to go to school. You will assist a country striving
to reach its potential.
You may feel, as one Volunteer who wrote
from Nigeria: "It is we who are really learning
here. What we are finding out about foreign re-
lations, human sensitivity and aspiration-and
ourselves is more than we could ever hope to
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
TO BECO llllll1llll1llllll 1 1111111
3 1262 08851 7338
* You must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old.
There is no upper age limit. Good health is a necessary
prerequisite but Peace Corps physical standards are
m Married couples with no dependents under 18 are
encouraged to apply. Both must, however, qualify as
Volunteers. They will be assigned to the same project.
* You do not have to know a foreign language.
* Don't be deterred because you think you lack neces-
sary skills. Many people tend to underestimate their
m Submit a Peace Corps Volunteer application. Sub-
mission of an application in no way obligates you.
Your final decision will come at the time you are invited
m Take the Peace Corps Placement Test. There is no
passing or failing grade. It is a tool to aid the Peace
Corps in evaluating your capabilities.
YOU WILL TRAIN At an American college or
university. Perhaps half of your normal 10 to 12-week
training period will be concentrated on the language
of the country in which you will serve. Modern labora-
tory techniques will give you a working fluency in
one of 42 different languages, from Amharic to Swahili.
A NORMAL TOUR Including training, will last
from 24 to 27 months. If you choose, you may extend
your service up to one year, or re-enroll for another
two years in the same, or a different country.
YOU WILL BE PAID ... An allowance to cover food,
clothing, housing and incidentals. Medical care and
transportation are provided by Peace Corps. For the
duration of your service, you accumulate a readjust-
ment allowance of $75 monthly. You may allot from
this allowance in sonie instances. The allowance is sub-
ject to U.S. taxes only.,
MILITARY OBLIGATION Is not satisfied by
Peace Corps service: However, Volunteers are deferred
for the duration iQf their assignments.
TO OBTAIN AN APPLICATION Request one
from Peace Corps, Washington, D. C. 20525; from the
Peace Corps Liaison- Officer on your college or uni-
versity campus; from your Civil Service Commission
Office; or from your local post office.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, WRITE:
Washington, D.C. 20525
ATTN: OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
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