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Re: science eduction

<begin mini-rant> 
It's much more complex than the schools don't do it. We expect the schools to 
do too many things, particularly in the K-12 years. Schools are complex 
institutions, facing a wide variety of pressures, trying to educate a 
tremendously diverse population, and allocated limited time and resources. What 
teacher in their right mind is going to invest a lot of effort into encouraging 
critical thinking -- which if done right encourages students to question the 
teacher -- when the teacher's continued employment depends not on enlightening 
the students but on getting them to perform on standardized tests? 

The outside world, including family, friends, community, the media, and the 
whole "popular culture", plays a tremendous role in the lives of students, and 
in their education. I was just reading the first chapters of Adrian Desmond and 
Jame Moore's biography of Darwin, and they didn't show Darwin's curiosity 
coming from his formal education. We live in different times, of course, but 
it's not just the schools that are making us intellectually as well as 
physically flabby.  There are no quick and easy fixes.  

<end mini-rant>

At 1:08 AM -0400 10/18/09, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
>The real problem with science education--indeed, with a lot of education 
>in general--is the lack of teaching of critical thinking skills starting
>at an early age and continuing throughout.

Jeff Hecht, science & technology writer
jeff@jeffhecht.com or jhecht@nasw.org
525 Auburn St., Auburndale, MA 02466 USA
tel. 617-965-3834  http://www.jeffhecht.com