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Thread: What would YOU include in the science curriculum if you had to draw one up?

  1. #1 What would YOU include in the science curriculum if you had to draw one up? 
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    Morning all,


    I was just curious to know if you were in charge of drawing up the science curriculum for schools, what would you put in?


    Your suggestions may be related to what would get children hooked on science or what would be useful in this ever changing world we live in for example. Or it may be related to another factor (please state as well).


    Thanks for taking the time to get back to me & I look forward to reading your suggestions.


    Samuel


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    At the primary grade level.
    More about the method of scientific inquiry and basic critical thinking skills.

    at the high school level
    A bit of the history of statistics, some probability theory, a touch of the philosophy of science, a treatment of skepticism and rationalism.


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  4. #3  
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    Probably modules for students to select which particular field of study they have interest in, then slowly build up the modules. Modules leading to more modules.

    However, for groups that aren't big enough to split the students into smaller groups, I would have to make a reference on a comic I've seen.

    Maths > Physics > Chemistry > Biology > Psychology > Social Science
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  5. #4  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Human Sexuality!
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    At the primary grade level.
    More about the method of scientific inquiry and basic critical thinking skills.
    That is exactly what I was going to say. Not just science but *how to think* scientifically.

    There's not much point in giving children knowledge if you don't also give them the skills to apply that knowedlge and understanding of how that knowledge came about in the first place.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    Critical thinking is the hard one to teach.
    What passes for critical thinking in textbooks usually isn't and you would have to teach the teachers critical thinking skills first.
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  8. #7  
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    1. Maths, maths and more maths.
    Well, not really. But far too many kids get to high school unable to manipulate equations and, in particular, with a feeble grasp of measurement and of simple place value/ orders of magnitude abilities.

    2. Reading comprehension.
    When we had people calling us about their child "not coping" with middle school science, our first question was always about the student's reading skills. Without good reading and vocab development, understanding science - even at the most superficial level - is near impossible.

    3. Critical thinking.
    More reading comprehension and skills in analysis and making a precis of text "in your own words". Critical thinking is impossible to teach without a context. Just think about all those Nobel Prize winners who are obviously proven to be deep, critical, original thinkers in their own discipline and who are also absolute dills who walk smack into the edges of open doors when they talk about anything outside that particular field.

    Critical thinking is the intellectual equivalent of a toolbox. But when we think about physical toolboxes, we immediately recognise that a plumber's toolbox is quite different from an electrician's or a car mechanic's toolbox.

    This talk from Dan Willingham is a good start. Willingham talk on critical thinking - Daniel Willingham

    And here's an article on the same topic. http://www.aft.org/pdfs/americaneduc...t_Thinking.pdf
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  9. #8  
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    I would like a short but important module discussing the difference between science and faith. I don't see a need to raise hackles claiming one is better than the other, but can we please get across the notion there is a difference? Hypotheses formed by studying data from repeatable experiments are NOT the same as truth handed down by divine authority.
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  10. #9  
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    Critical thinking doesn't always come with a scientific education. A mate of mine was telling me the other day about this documentary on mermaids he had watched on TV. Apparently, a relative of his, who was a biologist, had found the whole reasoning behind the show somewhat compelling. A biologist!
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  11. #10  
    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Human Sexuality!
    Would the teachers teach this as they wished, or would this follow an SOL curriculum?
    "MODERATOR NOTE : We don't entertain trolls here, not even in the trash can. Banned." -Markus Hanke
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  12. #11  
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    The map is not the terrain.

    The model is not the climate.

    When you become totally enmeshed in a concept, seek out a null hypothesis to your treasured concept.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    1. Maths, maths and more maths.
    Well, not really. But far too many kids get to high school unable to manipulate equations and, in particular, with a feeble grasp of measurement and of simple place value/ orders of magnitude abilities.
    i agree. for the hard sciences maths is a necessary skill. without maths is like a pole vaulter athlete who never trains his strength or speed. he can never be good without foundations. at one point even Einstein realized his own math skills were insufficient and ask for help from famous mathmetician.
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  14. #13  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Human Sexuality!
    Would the teachers teach this as they wished, or would this follow an SOL curriculum?
    I'd hope they would follow a curriculum that would make sense to the grade level they were teaching. It should always teach the use of birth control methods including condoms.
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  15. #14  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Economics which teach them how to manage a budget, use banking, mortgages, and the value of money.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    The map is not the terrain.

    The model is not the climate.

    When you become totally enmeshed in a concept, seek out a null hypothesis to your treasured concept.
    And its corollary, that without models you can't observe or measure most complex natural phenomena.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; April 2nd, 2014 at 01:38 PM.
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  17. #16  
    ...matter and pixie dust wegs's Avatar
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    I would teach:

    * the difference between science and pseudo-science
    * how to argue against Creationists effectively yet diplomatically
    * social Darwinism
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  18. #17  
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    I would say Metaphysics, Culture science, respect for science, Peoples science.
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  19. #18  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    I would say Metaphysics
    Metaphysics isn't science.

    Culture science
    No such thing.
    (Unless you mean anthropology).

    respect for science
    Amusingly ironic considering how little respect you give to science.

    Peoples science.
    No such thing.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    The map is not the terrain.

    The model is not the climate.

    When you become totally enmeshed in a concept, seek out a null hypothesis to your treasured concept.
    And its corollary, that without models you can't observe or measure most complex natural phenomena.
    OK
    The problem with models is that they are ofttimes wrong, and yet people who should know better seem to assume that the models are accurate and based on that, make declarative statements about past climates which are grossly inaccurate.
    (Remember, we were discussing the climate effects of toba in another thread?
    Let us examine statements made from climate models:
    How much and for how long the Toba eruption actually affected climate and life on the Earth's surface has been the subject of intense debate.
    Recently, we used state-of-the-art climate models to examine this question. ...
    An ice sheet did not begin to form in any of the simulations as the climate change did not persist for a long enough period. Hence the results do not support the theory that the super-eruption might have triggered an ice-age.
    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/shindell_12/

    Modelling has shown that such an enormous eruption could cause a cooling of up to 10 degrees in the global temperature for decades..
    Read more at: Massive volcanic eruption puts past climate and people in perspective

    And now for the real science:
    The precise dating of the Toba eruption confirms that it was followed by a more than 1,000-year-long cold spell in Greenland in the northern hemisphere.
    Huge eruption adds new perspective to past climate | ScienceNordic

    A thousand years of northern hemisphere cold driving many to extinction...
    Meanwhile, it was warmer in Antarctica.

    Now, we have: "Global warming" ---most noted in the arctic-----meanwhile, the antarctic is colder and the ice there is growing.

    OK just why the models do not reflect the noted effects in the northern hemisphere remains unknown.
    One possible reason would involve the appearance of evidence for multiple eruptions over 4 centuries:


    When driving a nail, a series of blows will usually sink it.
    Maybe the modelers only included one hammer blow, and concluded that the nail remained proud?
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    The map is not the terrain.

    The model is not the climate.

    When you become totally enmeshed in a concept, seek out a null hypothesis to your treasured concept.
    And its corollary, that without models you can't observe or measure most complex natural phenomena.
    OK
    The problem with models is that they are ofttimes wrong, and yet people who should know better seem to assume that the models are accurate and based on that, make declarative statements about past climates which are grossly inaccurate.
    (Remember, we were discussing the climate effects of toba in another thread?
    Of course, a that discussion had a lot more to do with models based on proxies than the types of models you want to discuss now.
    --
    My simple point is this. Teach the role of models in even the simplest science observations:
    A unit might look like this:

    For example, take how to measure pressure. You can define pressure in a science classroom.
    But then ask: how do we measure pressure? Some students might say a barometer.

    A teacher can now approach the measurement from two angles. At one end could be an exploration of the assumptions behind ways to measure actual pressure--say using liquid one (mercury or water...it doesn't matter for teaching)...where assumptions about density, temperature, air velocity near the barometer, response time to equilibrium all play into the most simplest of models (or a set of equations) to calculate the pressure (without the model you can't even start).

    Another angle, is for the sake of argument, we assume our actual instrument is 100% accurate at measuring air pressure. Than we might pull out a weather map with surface isobars. Most students are surprised that the weather maps ARE NOT the measured pressure (the actual pressure is also reported but doesn't' get mapped). Many get confused until there's they are asked to explore the effects of elevation on measured pressure and how they might compare two station measured stations pressures at different elevations (I envision kids on the top of the Seattle space needle and kids on the ground each measuring at the same time). The answer is of course, a standard model of the atmosphere based on other factors such as temperature, that superimposes an assumed atmosphere between the station and sea level. Again the point is you can't do a weather map without a model...the observation and analysis are completely dependent on models.

    I've greatly simplified the assumptions and discussion here to illustrate just a small number of the factors about the difficulties of measuring even the simplest things in science (in this care air pressure, but it could have been done for pressure, or moisture and nearly anything else). You can't make even in situ measurement nor turn that into useful information without models. And from my dozens of other sciences (and some applications) scattered across classes in oceanography, astronomy, and ecology models are not only essential to measure natural systems, meaningful measurements and analysis is completely impossible without them.


    Let us examine statements made from climate models:
    We've beat that drum before and honestly you aren't learning. You harbor some deep opposition to models, even as you cheery pick through model information which you think support your archaic views of science. You routinely remove the key discussion points and caveats and almost always assert the authors hold more credibility in their own work than their research clearly indicates (a common denier tactic) when you do cherry pick. You don't seem to understand their uses, or how intrinsic their use is in modern science. I'm not going over it all again here.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; April 3rd, 2014 at 06:36 PM.
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  22. #21  
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    In primary school I would choose next subjects to be studied, of course the subjects would be added or removed as education progresses.


    1. Introduction to science shown in an entertaining way. ( What is an entertaining way for kids in that period is a wide area and it should take a deeper analyze). But I would say though various set of methods like cartoons, games ( it can include video games or games that they should play between them ) , teamwork and constant interaction between everyone including teacher and the kids.

    2. The basic knowledge about Logical and Critical thinking.

    3. Nature and Society ( Basic information about sociology,psychology, biology, geography, history all summed in one and explained very clear and interesting)

    4. Arts ( Very basic history of arts but I would more focus on creating art. Fine arts, musical arts )

    5. Sport ( It's relaxing, kids need it and they can learn one of the biggest lessons there, social interacting, teamwork etc.

    As they grew older I would change an education a little bit.. I would 'remove' and add more subjects individually but not all in the same year. Again it need a deeper analyze what subjects should be added first but I think you got my point.

    1. Mathematics, physics, biology, geography, logic, psychology, philosophy, I would keep arts and sport, history, languages, chemistry, basic education about laws specially constitution of the country they're living in. Maybe I'll add as an extra subject if one want to attend '' Scientific view of Religion '' .

    Basic knowledge about everything would facilitate their further career choices plus basic knowledge about everything would make it easier for them future to dig deeper into anything they're interested to. I would try to find the best ways to implement knowledge to kids, of course it would include a lot of tests and analyzes.
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  23. #22  
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    [QUOTE=Lynx_Fox;548410]
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    The map is not the terrain.

    The model is not the climate.

    When you become totally enmeshed in a concept, seek out a null hypothesis to your treasured concept.
    And its corollary, that without models you can't observe or measure most complex natural phenomena.
    Let us examine statements made from climate models:
    ... You harbor some deep opposition to models, .
    Well:
    No, actually
    I hold maps and models in high esteem.
    I just think that far too many simple minded folks without critical thinking skills place far too much faith in models.

    I have noted this throughout my studies, and most recently within the discussions about the CO2 component of climate models for global warming in reference to anthropogenic atmospheric loading.

    So
    I always give the caveats:
    The map is not the terrain
    The model is not the climate
    That being said:
    Before I bought this property, I secured good USGS topographical maps of the area, and then secured good soil maps from the dept of agriculture.
    These showed me the likely flood zones, and the stability of the soils(we have a fayette soil which is prone to frost heaving, so foundations need to be deep and wide).
    Likewise models, they give us a benchmark (if you will) against which we may compare field data, and create an organizational framework within which we can coordinate and catalog the field data, and when new data present themselves which are contradictory to previous speculations and assumptions drawn from the models, then it is easier to sort out the bad and discard it.
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