Saturday, May 9, 2015

As the world turns....

The Next Generation Science Standards needs teachers who know science, and kids who trust their own eyeballs.

The idea seems so simple, so basic, that to challenge it leads to ridicule.

How do you know the Earth revolves around the sun?
What evidence do you have?
What evidence do you need?

 I've got plenty of evidence that the sun revolves around the Earth, evidence easily available to our children. The sun rises from one side of the horizon, and settles a few hours later on the other side.

If you sit still in late afternoon, you can see the shadows lengthen. Next time you "teach" a child otherwise, you better have a firm grip on the evidence--otherwise you are teaching science as religion.

Every year a few children passionately challenge evolution in our classroom, often using ideas with them by loving adults infused with (literally) the fear of God.

No one has ever challenged me about the Earth revolving around the sun.

The evidence for evolution is much easier to demonstrate than that for our relationship with the sun, yet not one child questions that.  My faith in teachers took a hit at a young age--I was told that the sun was overhead at noon.

I checked one day. It wasn't.
I checked again and again and again and again. Not once was the sun directly overhead. It never is in these parts, no matter what my teacher said. I could either trust her, the expert, or trust my own eyes. I went with my own eyes.
Science gets down to this: 
Claim. Evidence based on the natural world. Reasoning.

School gets down to this:

No one feels compelled to defend the Ptolemaic view of the universe because no one (in these parts anyway) fears damnation for accepting that the Earth revolves around the sun.

It would be a helluva lot more fun to teach if folks did, though.

I have a leprechaun in class--his existence cannot be dis-proven, and that is the point. 

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