Opening day is usually chaotic, nothing new there. We're implementing a new scheduling system designed by a company that has "years of exerpeince" and, well, it shows. Still, once the kids are in the room, once attendance is taken and the procedures reviewed, good things happen.
I simultaneously dropped a paper clip and my set of keys (like most floats my key ring rivals that of a warden). The kids predict what they think will happen, then note what actually does.
The knot of keys and the paper clip hit the ground at the same time. Really. Try it.
Five minutes later I asked a student which hit the ground first.
The paper clip.
"Why do you think that?"
Cuz that's what you said.Pretty sure I didn't, but I don't argue the point.
"Which one did you see hit the ground first?"
They both hit at the same time.
In school, you succeed for producing the "correct" answer, which doesn't always coincide with the right one. If the child heard me say the paper clip hit first, that's his answer, even if he observed otherwise.
It's a tough habit to break. In the long run, he might even be better off picking the authoritative "correct" answer even when he can see otherwise.
Why does teaching science matter then?
With science, a child has a framework to challenge dogma. It's not enough to say challenge authority; you need to give the children tools. It's easy to create cranks with tinfoil hats, much harder to create critical thinkers.