The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.
Ah, a treat today! While London security focused on the Olympics, I snuck into the British Museum and grabbed a slice or two of Albert Einstein's brain tissues--while I couldn't get the whole thing, even half a brain rivals what a whole committee collaborating together produced for New Jersey's science standards..
Alas, Dr. Einstein's eyeballs remain locked up in a bank in NYC (you can't make this stuff up)--any typos and misquotations that follow are on me.
And my justification? Einstein once said a person “experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness." Well, I figured he'd not object to my li'l brain in a vat experiment if I raised him up for something he cared about dearly--teaching science.
|Earlier experiment with a more intact brain|
I asked Dr. Einstein to peruse Jersey's standards for the preschool crowd, children no more than a few dozen moons removed from the womb, practically pollywogs--if you look closely, some still have tails.
Excuse my imperfect use of language--your host may have been a physician, but his grasp of brain anatomy needs some work. It's as though he just shuffled my brain slices together like a deck of cards. [EDITOR'S NOTE: confession--I barely passed neurology. I'm colorblind, and all the brain tissue looked the same....]
I have been asked to examine the New Jersey Core Curriculum Science Content Standards, and am amazed a child manages to get to Kindergarten without hating science. The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives--and you've managed to create little adult clones
Use basic science terms and topic-related science vocabulary.
Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift! The terms, science terms if you will, can come later, much later. All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree, yet you do not require a child to know a hog from a horse bristle paintbrush before she splashes exuberant colors on a canvas. If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.
Represent observations and work through drawing, recording data, and “writing.”
Goodness, why not just let a child scribble thoughts in a notebook? What is this "recording data"? Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.
When you get down to it, the whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking. We're talking about toddlers, no?
When I was a little boy, maybe 4, I was amazed, amazed, by a compass--there had to be something behind things, something deeply hidden. I developed a lifelong passion looking at the world. Let's see how your education experts cultivate this love of the world.
Display curiosity about science objects, materials, activities, and longer-term investigations in progress.
Enough, enough! "Display curiosity" is sufficient, and it is innate. A child, or anyone else who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.
Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. What has happened to the concept of kindergarten, literally the "garden of children"? Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.
He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed. Look at the madness of your standards. It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.
Disconnect me, Doyle! You asked me to read the standards, and now I don't know, I don't care, and it doesn't make any difference what I think, so long as you pay more mind to data than to wisdom. If you want my opinion, go peek at Arthur Sasse's photo of me. Let me go back to my quantum sleep.
|Arthur Sasse/AFP-Getty Images via Neatorama|
Anybody want a slice or two of the old man's brain? Is anyone listening anymore?
Bold, italicized lines are Einstein's words, obviously lifted out of context, most from here.
Red, bold left-sided quotes taken directly from the NJCCCS here.
The "brain" photo is everywhere, from the movie The Brain That Wouldn't Die.