Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Teaching, not preaching, science

Here are things I wish teachers would stop doing:
  • Telling kids the world is round (when it is obviously flat).
  • Telling kids that spontaneous generation is a myth (when every child paying attention can see life develop in a cup of water in just a few weeks).
  • Telling kids that the Earth spins completely around in just a few hours every day (when it's clear that it is the sun inches its way across the sky).
  • Telling the kids that the universe was an incomprehensibly small point an incomprehensibly long time ago (when every child paying attention knows you can only crush stuff so far before it becomes impossible to smush anymore).
We teach science as catechism, then wonder why our children are so gullible. so fearful to question, 

We give children less evidence to believe "science" than we did when we bullied them into believing in Santa Claus with half-eaten cookies and bribes of toys,

Kids believe what the adults around them tell them. If you want a child to know science, you're going to have to accept their models of the world until you can show them why the "adult" models work better.

And if you do not know why the science models you thrust upon children work better than models that work well enough for children (and for the rest of us, too), you're preaching, not teaching.


Mary Ann Reilly said...

a wise post.

doyle said...

Thanks--this has bothered me since elementary school. The evidence offered by the priests for the Holy Ghost made as much sense (possibly more, since at least they knew their subject matter) than what was preached in school.

Shay Spelman said...

This is an amazing post! I am a preservice science teacher and this is exactly the topic we were just looking at. We are all concerned about making the concept matter to our students and making it fun.
We write blogs concerning the topics we are discussing. I would love if you have time to take a look at my latest blog! Here is the link: http://blogs.miamioh.edu/edt431-531/2018/04/why-should-we-care/