Sunday, July 3, 2011

science education and novelty

Is science education a matter of teaching scientific history or following a recipe book or an encouragement to attempt to learn new things?

I taught a one month course in evolution and another in ecology for high-level ESL students and my classes were mostly a review of modern ideas and their history so of the three options I offered above, my classes fit only the first.  And yet it felt to me like a proper science class.  No student appeared surprised by my teaching techniques or asked for ways to test my claims experimentally.
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To be clear, I am not blaming my students for any lack of interest implied by my description.
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How can we teach students about how to do science?  Boingboing has  recent article on one of their favorite subjects, Makers.
PBS on Makers Faire


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Not really related: I enjoyed hearing about how a design firm challenged themselves to make 30 different coffee cups in 30 days.

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