I have to reply to you because I feel you really don't get it. I understand, you're probably a grade-school teacher. And that's a hard job. And I think if the qualifications are set high, that's fine, they should be. After all, you are entrusted with the official education of, as you say, +20 kids. I don't mean to trivialize this.
You mentioned that I am trying to "retract my statement" by narrowing it down to lower grades. I'm not though, my argument isn't about college or high school. I know there's a time to learn some hard facts, and I wouldn't want someone that didn't have a firm grasp on chemistry teaching chemistry. My argument is that you don't have to be an "intellectual" to educate. There may be situations that call for it, yes, but we're in a thread here about Reading Rainbow. This isn't about taking Chem 101. This is about inspiring children to learn and create. That's what Reading Rainbow did.
It's a story I can relate to too. I found school completely boring. While the teacher was babbling on about grammar or how to look at nutrition labels, I was making notes about circuits I wanted to try out when I got home. In second-grade I designed a motor that used a rather novel placement of permanent magnets as a journal entry. The teacher gave me a zero because it wasn't creative. These motors are now common-place in electric cars.
On the other hand, when I was 5, I had seen how tubas are made on Mr. Rogers. And I saw how a composer uses a digital sampler on Reading Rainbow. I watched "Square One" on PBS and learned about fractions and division. I saw a "computer" on The Bloodhound Gang that could hold several books on a microchip. I watched Nova and learned about blackholes. One of my few memories from fourth grade was a behind the scenes tour of a check processing facility, where I saw enormous IBM mainframes with open-reel tape feeding them instructions. I knew it was outdated at the time, but it made an impression on me. I remember getting to sit in the cockpit of a 747 on a flight from NY to LA. I was only a child, but looking at the radar screens, comm systems, etc, it was awesome. I remember changing spark plugs with my dad, and learning about how combustion engines work. I remember looking at how the guy at the grocery store ground up the beef (specifically, how the motor was connected up to the grinder). I remember watching the recording engineer at a live show checking each microphone. I remember looking at a watermill grind wheat at the Eno in North Carolina. I remember my uncle's distortion and flanger effects on his guitar.
Looking back, of course there were "intellectuals" involved. I'm not writing them off all together. But you can't just write off the cast of Reading Rainbow because your favorite PhD isn't on the board. Look beyond the diplomas. If a TV show can get kids inspired, how about we support it.
Another point, a science teacher in junior high explained to me and a buddy of mine that if we kept goofing off in the back of the class and not doing his homework, we would never become anything. Well guess what... My friend dropped out of high school and started his own engineering company. I took a different path, but I ended up as an engineer at a top national lab. Saw that teacher recently (an intellectual), and you better believe he took back his statement.
Inspire people and they will learn to learn on their own. They will enquire about what they do not understand. This alone is more important than learning about derivatives or electrons. When I was in school they said electrons had "orbits", something we now know is completely wrong. But that never really held me back. When I took "real" chemistry in college, I got the full story. No harm done.
Please do your students a favor. Stop with the powerpoints, the graphs, and the dimensional analysis. Turn off the calculators, shut down the computers. Get the students into a school bus ("field trip") and slam on the breaks in the parking lot at 10 MPH. That's acceleration. Want to teach about Faraday? Maxwell? Stop with the integrals. Build some circuits. Get some walkie-talkies. If you create an interesting situation, the students will naturally want to learn more.