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wisdom = IQ?
Some of the wealthiest people of our time are hard pressed to score on an IQ test, but clearly excel in making money, perhaps these people should compile the next IQ test.
Teaching a child to remember someone else’s thoughts on a particular subject may be a significant part of the reason that people are turning their backs on science.
It worries me that kids are turning their backs on Science because people are giving them the wrong idea of what it's all about. Questioning some well founded idea is fine if you actually have earned and appreciate a lot of basics. It is not possible for a single person to start from scratch and build up a new version of Science, singlehanded. You have to build up from existing knowledge and understanding.Science is trivialised in the Media and in much of the National Curriculum. Learning , as a discipline seems to have no place in education - it's no wonder kids are bewildered by Science, the way it is presented, because they simply don't know enough. Once they start at A level, they are brought up with a jolt and many fall by the wayside because they are just not prepared to learn what is needed.Trying to get kids to learn established and well verifiable models is not indoctrinationn - it is education. If they are not brilliant, it will enable them to have a reasonable understanding and if they are brilliant, it will give them the tools to progress Science further.How arrogant to think that the body of existing Science can be challenged by any Tom Dick or Harry. Yes - the occasional genius can overturn current models and ideas but don't kid yourself that a child who knows very little maths or basic Science is in any position to advance human knowledge. 'Questioning' is only a valid process when you already know a lot. A humble approach will get you much further.
What I am saying is that Tom Dick and Harry are not in a position to anything about advancing Science unless they already have a sound body of knowledge. The popular idea, nowadays, is that you can start from scratch, without any rigour and make valid comments / criticisms about scientific matters which are virtually anassailable.You only have to read some of the whacky posts on these fora to realise that many people just don't know the basics. Science and engineering both hang on their history.
or the arrogance of an insider who believes only he is competent to judge what is true and what is false.
Quote from: sophiecentaur on 05/11/2007 10:49:44What I am saying is that Tom Dick and Harry are not in a position to anything about advancing Science unless they already have a sound body of knowledge. The popular idea, nowadays, is that you can start from scratch, without any rigour and make valid comments / criticisms about scientific matters which are virtually anassailable.You only have to read some of the whacky posts on these fora to realise that many people just don't know the basics. Science and engineering both hang on their history.Firstly, there is a difference between teaching scientific method, and indoctrination with the whole body of scientific knowledge.Secondly, a good scientist does not seek to extend the scientific knowledge of humanity, he seeks to extend his own scientific knowledge, and if he does this for long enough he will reach the boundaries of the scientific knowledge of humanity, and then keep seeking to extend his own knowledge beyond that. The point is that scientists don't go from being dumb recipients of other people's information to suddenly switching modes to becoming seekers of new information; they continue doing what they did before.Ofcourse, the key point is that arrogance does not make for good science, whether it is the arrogance of an outsider who believes he knows better than all the insiders, or the arrogance of an insider who believes only he is competent to judge what is true and what is false.Having schoolkids question established science is good, not because they are very likely to create revolutionary theories in science, but because it gives them a grounding in how to ask questions, and how to apply scientific method in answering those questions. If they become afraid to challenge the ideas of their 'superiors', then they will have all sense of curiosity drummed out of them, and will make useless scientists later in life.
How can it be wrong to tell kids the fundamentals of Electricity, Forces, Energy etc.
Is learning your times tables 'indoctrination'? Or is it giving someone a skill and knowledge to help them cope with other stuff?
Quoteor the arrogance of an insider who believes only he is competent to judge what is true and what is false.It is far from arrogant to respect the pedigree of thousands of cleverer people than ones self and to accept what they, as a majority, have agreed to believe.
Neither is it weak-mindedness. No one is in a position to criticise, with any validity, the opinions of established Science until they have understood what it is actually telling them. How will you get to understand? You have to put yourself out and actually learn the stuff. Know your enemy - if that is how you view it.
Of course, if you really want to shake the Science world with a new, properly worked-out, theory, you need a high level of arrogance - to carry you through the process - but that's down to human nature, not Science.
'Questioning' is a useful skill when it relates to reliability of evidence - as in politics, history etc. but most of the evidence that most kids are given relating to Science is a million times better founded than an opinion about who caused the first World War.
Get a copy of the National Curriculum and see how much is in any way, shaky, before you just criticise the system.I am aware that the list of topics in the National Curriculum is far from optimal but it is far from a list of ideas with which to indoctrinate kids. The main problem it has is that it attempts to treat all students in the same way. The 'levels' thing is another issue and very fraught.
Quote from: Andrew K Fletcher on 04/11/2007 18:18:33Some of the wealthiest people of our time are hard pressed to score on an IQ test, but clearly excel in making money, perhaps these people should compile the next IQ test.But would such wealthy people really make good employees. Often self made millionaires are people who went out on their own because they were hopeless working for anybody else. If you were looking for your next employee, would you really want to employ one of these people?
You are probably right about people like Branson not making very good employees. But I think you are wrong to assume that they were hopeless at working for other people. Instead, they were lateral thinkers who thought to themselves, I can either work for these guys for the rest of my life or I can have people working for me instead and I can sit on the deck of my own Yacht sipping a glass of Champaign while fishing for blue marlin. Any up coming business could do a lot worse than have one of these guys working for their company.
(rather you seemed to have defended a position where you say pupils should not be questioning their 'betters').
It is not for nothing that the word 'education' includes the Latin word for 'to lead'. It does not imply "help yourselves to any old idea you fancy, kids".Is the idea to help them or to allow complete anarchy of ideas in a desperate attempt to avoid 'indoctrination'?In any case, A-S, your function on this forum (just like mine) seems to 'put people right' when they stray outside the reasonable bounds of Science thinking. How can you criticise this when it's carried out with kids who, even more, need protection from 'the evil- Science Fiction'?
"One day sir, you may tax it." Faraday's reply to William Gladstone, then British Minister of Finance, when asked of the practical value of electricity.
The young Feynman was heavily influenced by his father, Melville, who encouraged him to ask questions to challenge orthodox thinking.
Faraday - who was totally self taught
I set up an experiment at a local college to show the head of science how gravity lifts water inside a tree
QuoteFaraday - who was totally self taughtDo you mean he invented everything out of thin air - or did he read a lot?What you learn from books is no different from what you are 'told'.
This seems, suddenly turned into a 'beat up the educators' thread.Education is essential.Until it is given some status, in the UK,many potentially great teachers will stay away from it. Most complaints about 'the system' really stem from experiences of teachers who do not know enough or who cannot actually control disrespectful kids.
What alternative have all you complainants? (This has to be a mass - low budget service so don't expect the luxury of one-to-one teaching) Suggest a formula which will deliver the same or better for all the kids in our Schools -using people of the ability of current teachers.
The idea oh having separate schooling for the few people that shine would not work either as money would inevitably make sure that their son or daughter was going to the advanced school, and not because of the way their children think but because of the way their parents think.
I have a better suggestion, move them up a year or two or three, this would not only keep the challenging minds occupied and interested but would inspire others to move forward too and at the same time inspire the students sitting next to a pupil 3 years younger than themselves and doing well, to increase the amount of effort they are putting into the lessons. This way the only students that move forward are those that can move forward under their own merit. I have experienced this scenario with my own sons who at the age of five and six could recite their times tables backwards including up to and beyond their 19x tables in reverse.
RE: Actually if you shove excessive trivial ( or even irrelevant ) information in one person’s head he might become confused or distracted inside this chaotic informational “noise” and miss or lose a lot of core concepts and important functional relationships.
Firstly; it is all well and good knocking the education system, but how many of the contributers have first hand knowledge of the present education system?
Secondly; Anyone who undertakes the profession should be treated with respect, so should we all. Respect should be automatic, not earned.
Because Darwin's Theory is a theory, it is still being tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.
I keep reading phrases like "thrust down our throats" and "forced to", in this thread - relating to the education that was received by contributors.Quite honestly, if you had been given the option at the age of, say 13, to sit in class or to be out playing, which would you have done? There are very very few teenagers who would volunteer for a week in School if they could choose an alternative. If they are not to be 'forced' to be there, how are we to get them educated?
Were you all so amazingly mature that you would have come into lessons just through a thirst for knowledge?
My Sixth formers, who have actually chosen to study Physics and who find a lot of it interesting, still take every opportunity to avoid work, unless 'forced' to do it.
Many kids who would be quite capable of A level Physics, choose softer courses because they are aware that they can get grades easier and with less work by avoiding Physics, Chemistry and Maths. (This is a common fact, voiced in the media).
As far as presenting 'core Science' to 95% of kids goes - (no, > 99%) there is little point in suggesting that they should doubt its content - it just unsettles them and, "if it may not be true, it's not worth knowing".
In any case, what proportion of core Science is, actually, up for question, in as far as it can be used to predict pretty well all that happens to us in every day life? Is the only real complaint about the semantics of the word 'fact'? How much more 'factual' can you get than Newton's Laws of Motion or Snell's Law? Can you suggest a better way of describing those two everyday phenomena?
It's always easy to blame the system when things have gone wrong.
I should say that there have been a lot of improvements in Science education BUT, the changes in attitude of parents and the state to the education system have not helped at all.
That idea of 'respect' for a system which may be locally flawed but is, basically, sound seems to have died. This is a pity because young people need a bit of 'blind allegiance' to a few core values to help them through a confusing period in their lives.
George, you should respect both the person and the position held. By all means disagree with their actions, but the fact that they have that position does deserve respect.I respect your position as a moderator and you as a person, yet i don't happen to agree with what you say. The respect is still there.
The point is to recognise that Newton's laws are two things - they are observations (which anybody can make, and is the core of all science), and modelling. It is to demonstrate that models are merely a way of linking together observations, and making predictions (which are then testable) from that. None of this is about 'fact' in any absolute sense, but it is about a functioning mathematical model (which is only considered a close approximation of fact, and its closeness of approximation depends totally on how well the predictions agree with observed fact - but only the observations can be regarded as actual fact). This allows the notion that if a better model comes along, it does not make the previous model 'wrong', or untrue, or not worth knowing, and it certainly does not make the proponents of those models out to be liars. It also demonstrates to pupils both how models are created, as well as their limitations. It demonstrates that the best you have is merely the leading edge of knowledge, and not any right or wrong; and it gives them an idea of how they can push forward that leading edge of knowledge.
QuoteThe point is to recognise that Newton's laws are two things - they are observations (which anybody can make, and is the core of all science), and modelling. It is to demonstrate that models are merely a way of linking together observations, and making predictions (which are then testable) from that. None of this is about 'fact' in any absolute sense, but it is about a functioning mathematical model (which is only considered a close approximation of fact, and its closeness of approximation depends totally on how well the predictions agree with observed fact - but only the observations can be regarded as actual fact). This allows the notion that if a better model comes along, it does not make the previous model 'wrong', or untrue, or not worth knowing, and it certainly does not make the proponents of those models out to be liars. It also demonstrates to pupils both how models are created, as well as their limitations. It demonstrates that the best you have is merely the leading edge of knowledge, and not any right or wrong; and it gives them an idea of how they can push forward that leading edge of knowledge.And just how many kids in your average school would really make sense of that particular (very reasonable, well written) paragraph?
One problem is that people who complain about the way they were taught are viewing what they experienced, and sometimes resented at the time, in the light of many years' experience and with a more mature mind. Post hoc rationalisation is understandable. It is easy to delude oneself that one provided all one's own motivation against overwhelming odds.It is very lucky and rare to be the sort of person who is that self motivated at such an early age. I know many who are not.
We can all have a good moan about the state, education and parents but the people who are ultimately responsible for the government in power - which, in turn, is responsible for the system of education- are the parents.
These parents have, if they choose, much more time than the 1000 hours a year during which kids are in School in which to have some influence.
On the subject of 'respect', I think the attitude in the services says it all - you are saluting the rank and not, necessarily, the man.
It is the responsibility of society to produce an environment where this 'blind allegiance' is morally well founded.
BTW, I have seen no volunteers to get stuck into the system, yet. How about it guys?
Just a quick question for you guys. Is homeschooling allowed in the UK?
Firstly, my view is that all children are inherently self motivated - but self motivated at what is the question. No adult can motivate a child, they can only try and find constructive ways of channelling their innate motivation.
Certainly, mothers can, if they elect (and can financially afford) stay at home to concentrate on bringing up their children.
it gives them an idea of how they can push forward that leading edge of knowledge.