I should say that no subject in itself has a distinct pedagogical value. The value of any subject is in relation to all other subjects.
Colonel Francis W. Parker
Principal of the Cook County Normal School
Report of the Committee of fifteen (1895)
For a variety of good reasons, we are, as a faculty, designing a new environmental science course, integrating traditional divisions into one course. It's exciting designing a course from scratch.
We get to blend our disciplines--biology, physics, chemistry, geoscience--into a year's worth of science aimed at freshmen who do not (yet) plan to nab a Nobel Prize in science.
Specialization in high school science may have made sense in 1895, when the Committee of fifteen developed the class divisions we still use today, before specialization got so, well, specialized.
While it's cute to watch videos of children spout off scientific language, it becomes dangerous when ignorant folks confuse this with knowledge.
Charlie's Playhouse was founded by a Dr. Kate Miller, a scientist who now stays at home to be with her kids. I'm sure her heart's in the right place, and her science is sound. She's not just another huckster exploiting children to sell something.
Still, the video of children sanctimoniously spouting off mostly bad science (with the exception of one child's succinct description of natural selection) illustrates how science evolves into dogma. Using cute kids and bouncy music to sell ideas, even good ones, saddens me.
If we taught science as a discipline, as a way of looking at the world, instead of the fragmented approach we take today, I bet Charlie's Playhouse would thrive without the marketing gurus on their advisory board.