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Jim Hunt

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Science Education
« on: May 29, 2023, 01:14:19 PM »
I find it hard to believe that there isn't already a topic on the above subject, but I'm blowed if I can find one in a hurry. Please feel to point me in the right direction if I've missed something.

Amongst other things I'm a qualified secondary school science teacher, majoring in physics.

What's more I have never previously watched "Britain's Got Talent", let alone the auditions for it. However:

"The most revolutionary thing one can do always is to proclaim loudly what is happening" - Rosa Luxemburg

kassy

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Re: Science Education
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2023, 08:05:00 PM »
It is not that hard to believe. Science education and actual good education are a must yet we have been ruining it for ages.

This topic is much more general then P&S in the context of climate change. It would have helped with that but it helps with most things.

Despite being quite rich in the EU context we slid down the scale for reading comprehension a bit more and numeracy is bad too. The topic is probably better suited for Politics but any input is welcome including passionate defences of why it would help.
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NeilT

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Re: Science Education
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2023, 08:29:47 PM »
Education has entered the political sphere and is a hotbed of political agenda's.

To believe that Scientific education could escape the political influence is to avoid the obvious.

Climate change debate also suffers.  To expect people who do not have a solid grounding of the science of the planet they live on, to understand and engage in the climate debate rationally and sensibly, is to have unreasonable expectations.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: Science Education
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2023, 08:34:48 PM »
The topic is probably better suited for Politics but any input is welcome including passionate defences of why it would help.

Feel free to move this wherever seems most appropriate.

Since you mention politics, my postgraduate teacher training was shortly after the government of Maggie Thatcher (the milk snatcher) had introduced the once Great British "national curriculum".

Our physics tutor was fond of extending the familiar ancient aphorism as follows:

"Those who can, do.
Those who can't, teach.
Those who can't teach, teach teachers!"

He also asserted that according to the then popular theories of Jean Piaget, 75% (I forget the exact number) of our state comprehensive school pupils were incapable of understanding what the National Curriculum for Physics insisted we teach them because they had yet to achieve Piaget's formal operational stage.

My dissertation was on the "black papers", which "called for a return to traditional teaching methods and an end to the comprehensive experiment"



 
"The most revolutionary thing one can do always is to proclaim loudly what is happening" - Rosa Luxemburg

NeilT

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Re: Science Education
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2023, 08:47:46 PM »
My dissertation was on the "black papers", which "called for a return to traditional teaching methods and an end to the comprehensive experiment"

And when that didn't work they simply increased the marks for less capable work.  Making adults from the lower education system even more susceptible to manipulation through lack of knowledge in later life.

Which maps back into Climate Change Trolls.
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

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John_The_Elder

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Re: Science Education
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2023, 12:09:06 AM »
I was teaching at a community many years ago. All my student were High School graduates. I put a basic power formula on the board to explain the tie between Ohms Law and Watts law.....P=V²/R.  Before I could turn around little Johnny asked in a raised voice "what is that tiny 2 you are always using?" that was the day that I decided to retire.:)
John

Jim Hunt

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Re: Science Education
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2023, 01:46:43 AM »
By some strange synchronicity:

I see the gang is back at it.

Marilyn vos Savant - Raising Intelligent Children


Discuss!
"The most revolutionary thing one can do always is to proclaim loudly what is happening" - Rosa Luxemburg

kassy

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Re: Science Education
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2023, 07:34:08 PM »
I was teaching at a community many years ago. All my student were High School graduates. I put a basic power formula on the board to explain the tie between Ohms Law and Watts law.....P=V²/R.  Before I could turn around little Johnny asked in a raised voice "what is that tiny 2 you are always using?" that was the day that I decided to retire.:)

At least he was not blind and he had an actual question...not sure what your students background is but some come from really bad backgrounds with a school that helps nothing.

Now the heroine of my horror story also had a question but she did not want an explanation.
I had been tasked with the beer run so i had to get a load of brand X. They had 10 cans so i put them in a neat 2 x 5 line on the check out and watched them move towards . Then she finished with the customer before me and she lookead at the cans.

How much cans do you have?

So i told her 2 x 5 showing fingers as a hint. The pattern should be familiar with anyone with arms?

How much cans do you have?

So then i told her 10.

The really basic skills like language and maths matter.

Choosing a specific field already implies specialization. So how well do those that chose business or politics. communicate with those that do atmospheric physics etc?
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

gerontocrat

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Re: Science Education
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2023, 09:30:54 PM »
Choosing a specific field already implies specialization. So how well do those that chose business or politics. communicate with those that do atmospheric physics etc?
Badly. 

The time of Renaissance Man - when a person could be both a scientist and many other things, is long gone. 

It's a pity, especially as we live in a more and more connected world.
______________________________________________________________
Benjamin Franklin FRS FRSA FRSE (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1705][Note 1] – April 17, 1790) was an American polymath who was active as a writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, printer, publisher, and political philosopher.[1] Among the leading intellectuals of his time, Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, a drafter and signer of the Declaration of Independence, and the first Postmaster General.[2]

As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his studies of electricity, and for charting and naming the Gulf Stream current. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among others.[3] He founded many civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia's first fire department,[4] and the University of Pennsylvania.[5] Franklin earned the title of "The First American" for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity, and as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies. As the first U.S. ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation.[
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johnm33

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Re: Science Education
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2023, 10:12:07 PM »
Discuss
Imho if you want to raise intelligent children you must first find a woman whose mother concieved her when 23 or older, preferably after an educated childhood. That alone should put your joint progeny 15 points ahead of the field, doubly so if your mothers mother was similar. After that avoid mainstream education it will crush free thought, but is perfect for parrots who just want to get ahead. It'll be a long haul though they may not mature until their 20s.
For the opposite marry a cousin whose mother concieved her below the age of consent, her progeny will grow up much faster and you'll get shot of them sooner, but the risk is one in four will never be capable of independent living.
A surprising number of 19th century scientists had a private education, that is a tutor not a private school. This suggests that somehow we are managing to waste an enormous amount of talent or that wealthy people are just smarter.

Freegrass

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Re: Science Education
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2023, 10:17:22 PM »
I'm in the top 10% with my IQ, but my social IQ is very low. I also have ADHD, so I hated reading, or studying. Now I know that that was because I couldn't keep my focus. There was also no need for me to study, because I was just paying attention in class, and that was good enough to pass all my exams. The classes that were a little more challenging, those were the classes that I had to study a little for.

So being smart isn't everything. I was a difficult child, and I only learn what I really want to learn, what interests me. If I'm not interested, I'm really not interested, and then you'll never be able to teach me...

So in the end, I studied mechanics, and welding. Working with my hands was fun, and then I didn't have to study hard.

I still wonder what would have happened if I indeed had studied engineering. I think I would have loved it, and been pretty good at it. But that meant a lot of studying, and nobody was there to help me...

So let's not just look at intelligence. You need to look at the whole package. I think everyone is good at something. We don't all need to study hard. Especially now, when AI will be our brains. Better to learn a trade if you want to have a job in the future...

But don't be too stupid either, because robots will do our low skill jobs as well, like flipping a burger, driving a truck, cleaning, etc...

But we can't all be welders and plumbers... So what's our future? Time will tell... It ain't gonna be much...
When computers are set to evolve to be one million times faster and cheaper in ten years from now, then I think we should rule out all other predictions. Except for the one that we're all fucked...

etienne

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Re: Science Education
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2023, 10:43:44 PM »
Just like a robot can't do everything, AI won't make all the thinking. We will always need somebody to define a strategy ask for the work and to check the results.
A smart person will be somebody that has the needed knowledge to tell if something makes sense or not.

Freegrass

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Re: Science Education
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2023, 10:42:22 AM »
Just like a robot can't do everything, AI won't make all the thinking. We will always need somebody to define a strategy ask for the work and to check the results.
A smart person will be somebody that has the needed knowledge to tell if something makes sense or not.
I don't think one person will be able to do that. AI is already writing its own code. So we will need philosophers, spiritual leaders, and so much more to keep the AI within limits. And I'm not sure if people will be smart enough and able to do that...

I just wrote down my vision for the future. It's been in my head for many years now, and today, with the help of AI, I was finally able to write it down in a text that makes sense to me. (start reading halfway in the page) Some things are really out there, but why not? Why can't this be the future? We're on a path now where AI will supersede our intelligence. Then what? We won't be smart enough to understand it... Our biological brain will not be able to follow an artificial brain... And then what?
When computers are set to evolve to be one million times faster and cheaper in ten years from now, then I think we should rule out all other predictions. Except for the one that we're all fucked...

NeilT

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Re: Science Education
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2023, 02:57:04 PM »
A surprising number of 19th century scientists had a private education, that is a tutor not a private school. This suggests that somehow we are managing to waste an enormous amount of talent or that wealthy people are just smarter.

It is not surprising at all.  The first education act in the UK to make schools universally available was in 1870 and it was the first act to deal with education in the UK.  It was 1880 before it became mandatory for children between 5 and 10 to go to school.  It was not raised to 12 until 1893, 14 in 1918 and 15 in 1944.

It is hardly surprising that scientists were home schooled in the 19th century.  The vast majority of schools in the 19th century were religious schools where basic skills in reading and numeracy were taught.  Private schools were the province of extremely wealthy whereas tutors could be had for the children of most gentlemen.

Here is an example of how people developed just post the 19th century.

Quote
Early life

Whittle's birthplace in Earlsdon, Coventry, England. (photo 2007)
Whittle was born in a terraced house in Newcombe Road, Earlsdon, Coventry, England, on 1 June 1907, the eldest son of Moses Whittle and Sara Alice Garlick.[8] When he was nine years old, the family moved to the nearby town of Royal Leamington Spa where his father, a highly inventive practical engineer and mechanic,[9] purchased the Leamington Valve and Piston Ring Company, which comprised a few lathes and other tools and a single-cylinder gas engine, on which Whittle became an expert.[2][6] Whittle developed a rebellious and adventurous streak, together with an early interest in aviation.[8]

After two years attending Milverton School, Whittle won a scholarship to a secondary school which in due course became Leamington College for Boys, but when his father's business faltered there was not enough money to keep him there. He quickly developed practical engineering skills while helping in his father's workshop, and being an enthusiastic reader spent much of his spare time in the Leamington reference library, reading about astronomy, engineering, turbines, and the theory of flight.[9] At the age of 15, determined to be a pilot, Whittle applied to join the RAF.[2]

Note "whilst working in his father's workshop and tried to join the RAF at age 15"!  Interestingly my father joined the RAF at age 15 and he went to private school.

Frank Whittle invented the gas turbine engine.

Looking down the wrong end of the telescope at schooling and science gives us the wrong answer.

It was the access to universal education and forcing children to remain in education until their ability level was known and their ambition to continue could be fostered which changed the entire landscape of science in the 20th adn 21st century.

Even in the first half of the 20th century only the privileged and a very few with exceptional ability were able to attend university.  This changed in the second half of the 20th century with the opening up of access to further education.

Unfortunately, as Jim says, the base level of education is falling and further education Must have a base to work on.

This does everyone a disservice as the next potential breakthrough may be lost in a brain that was never brought to full poenetial.

I understand why Jim left.
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

Robert A. Heinlein