Personality Cafe banner

41 - 60 of 268 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,794 Posts
My problem is that learning in school always felt 'text book' that the teachers weren't allowed opinions that everything we were taught came from the curriculum and not from the teachers. I need teachers who are passionate, that teach us to ask questions and to ponder over things. Of course we need to have guidelines but teachers should be allowed more freedom to actually teach!! We aren't being taught the big picture in school and how everything is linked together. For example we were taught evolution in school, yet I've been reading about it now and it's like 3/4 of the information was never taught to us!! There is so much I'm learning now as an adult that I didn't learn in school. We are just taught what we need in order to pass our exams instead of actually being taught in a way that encourages us to think about what we are learning and to engage in it.

It's only now that I am 22 that I have started taking an interest in Science, the same with politics and history these are subjects I didn't care for when I was in school because it was taught in such a boring way!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Too Many Of (my words)

Wulfyn wrote:



“Science is not a conclusion, it is a process of investigation. Education rewards results (learning facts), and it is only much later (aged 16+) that it then starts to move into principles, I assume the reasoning being you have to be this old in order to understand it. But that's not true - pretty much all children are extremely curious “
------------------------------------------------
How true Wulfyn, so very true. In fact, I will go further that we are working at very low levels of potential. It may happen that a great shock, a business depression or mutant genetic virus, to open our eyes.


Some add ons are that science does not work in every day life. No scientist uses the scientific method of test and experimentation in every aspect every time. Not even close. We prune away to our comfort level. All people experiment at least in some parts of their lives, more so when we include areas of detriment like alcohol use.


Quite simply experimentation does not work as main mode of activity.


Ok, but we need to go to the next step. Experimentation in science is critical for just the same reasons that the author above mentions, but how to do when almost all experimental results are negative or less than what we knew before?


As one book Hidden Attraction mentions, for every one of the Faraday type people who was a success after years of toil, hundreds of similarly driven, creative, and intelligent people at the same time with a brief window of opportunity came up with nothing. So every child will normally lose patience with out some sort of plan. First of all, use experiments that deliver different results every time, need lots of observers, can deliver some modestly workable solutions on increment basis. Colloid mud, solids as a liquid, and amorphous elements are some examples. Since the results are almost like cooking, any ceramics that fit the specs would be nice. It is hard to find ones that are safe and inexpensive as well.


I still very much remember my sulfur experiments, which has several phases. The test tube burst and spread over the bunsen burner with very interesting accidental flames and smells. It was tough to find a lab partner after that.


We learn far more by mistakes than by following the leader. But what happens is this type of good that is science is covered up, other students normally claim science is due to the shining A student who copies all with the expertise of a paralegal. But in my school there were a lot of kids whose fathers worked in silicon valley and skunk works, and they were told otherwise, which took the edge of the situation somewhat.


Most times we get goop, but there has to be an element of surprise and possibility of supreme rewards. More importantly, detail all results, and have it go for a multi year approach for each student project. Most experiments are copy the masters in exactly what they do record time, sort of like skimming Hamlet and then using Cliff Notes, expecting to truly understand or enjoy.


Most independent scientists keep a log book and are the authority in that little neck of the woods. We need to do the same in the classroom with in temperature, conditions, safety, and expense levels (obviously with areas that academia/industry has deemed “worthless”). And when eventually a student or team does seemingly make it viable, patent it. -That- would encourage interest.


Umbrellasky, the problem with not as many guidelines is that students, administrators, and teachers alike then view it as non-essential and be given miminal lipservice. I much agree with you, but to their eyes it is mixing oil and water. Creativity and the interesting stuff is not nearly as standard and testable. Quantifiers rule the world, making a dilemma.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Wulfyn, this is true in other areas even more so. School children were not taught languages before the age of 11 because it was thought too difficult. But children always learn languges much more quickly than post puberty! In fact, children -invent- languages at that stage of life, e.g. pidgin Hawaiian being a rough, ungrammatical language until very young children of dockyard and field hands got a hold of it. They developed the grammar that we have on the islands today. It is, as best I have looked into, the researched fact.
It is not uncommon for 3 year olds to learn 3 or more languages all together, since our minds are plastic during those formulative years.


The trick is to break it down to bite sized pieces, the lowest common denomenator so to speak. Without the simplicity, children naturally rebel. An exception is of a very few children who have been surrounded by the lingo of, say liguistic theroy professor parents. Same goes with science. We see the mere glimmerings of what is possible. And the tendency of 'experts' is to flood the poor toddlers with high minded lingo or ignore the adolescents altogther.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
One more thing. The Proof wrote
"maybe make professors stop teaching scientific subjects like completely idiotic drones working for the system to have a life they don't want "

Perhaps it is only my experience (twice). Both were unrelated, living in oppostite sides of the
country, had strong willed mothers many a time bailing their little precious dears out of trouble.

One almost certainly got in trouble, had a free spirit, probably to criminal lability side
with drugs. Both dismissed my love of science, once or twice in long triades of how it is unimportant. Both had severe personality flaws, the one on the East coast where
I hayed on their farm for a summer was a good case and point. On my last night
there, rooming together with the son I was friends with, he sat out on the roof
making artificial flatuent noises (& one of us getting kicked out by the parents
to sleep on the couch as we laughed up a storm after figuring out where it came
from). A couple weeks previously he had locked my belt hoop to a steel chain
and ran off, doing a magic trick he strenously claimed.

True, he was 15 years old, but AFAIK he has continued such yuks til present day.

The West coast one a few years ago was calling up long lost 'friends' and worried
about being beaten up (6' 2" and a former firefighter) and admitting he talks in
detail with people maybe once a year. He was also a practical joker and former
next door neighbor. (In 6th grade class, at a non-profit school camp, he & his
mother applied for low income assistance, with his father of some 50 years
marriage being an anesthesiologist [sp?] earning the equivilent to 300 K/yr in
2011 dollars. Our 6th grade teacher knew this and balked. ) There is more,
like his habit til mid high school of clearing his sinus chamber violently, gulping,
then loudly saying with a smile 'too good to waste', but you get the idea.

What are both doing now? Long standing High School Science teachers.
Hey, a job is a job. Better than on the streets! Anyone else having such
outrageous true stories might post them here and now. The Proof, do
you have any specific cases deemed worth sharing with us?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
13,780 Posts
Question: How to increase the popularity of Science?

Answer: Make it less boring plz...plz...plz...*cries*

Teacher passion goes a long way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
Try telling all of this to my son!

I can agree with just about everything written, to an extent. I see most of the posts here tell us Science is presented badly. Most of you suggest that if we "change" some aspect of how it is presented, that it might fix it.

Sure, if we change how it's taught, you will gain amused parties. And that is a good thing. Though, I do not believe that will make for more individuals who are passionately sincere in their interest, nor will it drive popularity. Frankly, science is already tremendously more popular than it ever was. How many science fans were there in 1900?

Science interest is not dependent on "how" it's presented - It's an automatic interest driven by genetics. My son, and many kids I've met, are simply not interested. You might grasp their attention long enough to give them a brief "Aha" moment, but they'd really just rather be singing, dancing, fixing cars, or whatever else. Their big-picture understanding increased, and you're enabling broader critical thought. However, you are not making them truly enjoy science.

You can not make someone passionately interested, you can only arouse those who are, but didn't know it.

That is, until we gain complete control over genetics, and start manufacturing our children to have exactly the interests and attributes we want them to have. At which time this discussion will be entirely antiquated.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,762 Posts
"Boob physics".

That is all I'm going to contribute to this thread...


[EDIT]
Just thinking about it, but boobs can help explain momentum and the movement of waves (that's just off the top of my head).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Sure, if we change how it's taught, you will gain amused parties. And that is a good thing. Though, I do not believe that will make for more individuals who are passionately sincere in their interest, nor will it drive popularity. Frankly, science is already tremendously more popular than it ever was. How many science fans were there in 1900?
.

Incredible Mouse, I hear you. A point to ponder, science was not so popular in
1900, but technology very much was. First of all, it was fresher with greater
gradient rates of change than now. Secondly, about half the people lived on
farms, compared to one third at the time of the Great Depression and a
percent or two now.

If something breaks down on a farm, even today you often fix it yourself for
a temporary fix. Then there was no choice, and parts were made with a
forge/blacksmith on the grounds. So many people of science were at the
start technologist farm boys (very few of the opposite sex, but my grand
mother was a Kansas farmgirl who graduated from college at the age of 15).

When you work so hard for so little and are able to tinker well, science and
technology in the city is very easy work indeed.

Developing hard work ethics is not happening in American public schools.
In fact, it is more like Cheech and Chong's bit "young man, give me that
knife" (He throws it at her, sticking in the wall) "Thank you", which was
recorded circa 1972 . An uncle working in LA had a gun pointed at him
twice within 6 months, time to quit.

We now have a very few dedicated individuals who happen to be
bitten by the bug and measure up. Pour the immigrant geniuses who both
have the discipline and can be trained, and we have a pretty stable
situation. The young always want to take it easy, and ancient Greece
noticed the very same trend.

I talked with some former USSR academics working in Asia 10 years ago
and they said the same thing is happening there, especially with hard
sciences like chemistry and physics. Mathematics, too. But in China
and India, the hunger for living in the west and a chance at the good
life is great. More than half the class in many US universities are of
those ethnic science students alone. On quarter of private prep schools
like Andover are now Indian, as the families believe that is a way to
get ahead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Some URL for the subject:

The power of introverts, paul graham google

Nerds are Unpopular, paul graham google

(I am only post 7 to my 15 minimum to be permitted URL links.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
@semloh: I don't know about China but in India, there is no popularity for science. Given the population, the competition is MASSIVE. Going to college here is like going to school. Its treated like basic education. Everyone has a degree. Anywhere you turn your head, you'll find a college. The quality of education is pretty crap to be honest. There are a select set of universities which are good. All of them require entrance exams to get in and entrance exam training is a multi-billion dollar industry. There are just too many people despite the fact that a large portion of the populace is below the poverty line.
The stress kids are put through here are crazy. Every year you hear about suicides because of bad exam results. The perception is that you go to the West and you're set for life. Its not love for science, just a way of survival.

To get back to the thread topic, I think we should exploit the fact that kids are naturally curious. Make it interesting, make them wonder, make them find things out. You'd be surprised to what lengths kid will go. There are lots of interesting and cool activities in science to make kids excited. Even if the school doesn't do it, I think parents can do their bit to make their kids interested. My dad tried to do so with me (he failed horribly...) but he had the right idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
@semloh : I don't know about China but in India, there is no popularity for science. Given the population, the competition is MASSIVE. The perception is that you go to the West and you're set for life. Its not love for science, just a way of survival.
we should exploit the fact that kids are naturally curious. Make it interesting, make them wonder, make them find things out. .
Coder, I much agree from that seen first hand. But China, India, Japan, and Korea do force the issue of understanding the basic concepts of science, which is not easy in itself. Same goes for China. The odd thing is, from some science articles like one Scientific American and first hand accounts, if these students to US universities go back home, the ideas and concepts of free thinking are not accepted and the individuals are seen as interlopers. After 5 years postgraduate and working abroad, an academic's personal connections are already poor and have to be built up from anew (classmates mostly), some areas like Bangalore excepted. My point was that the US especially recently has made it a working system of immigrant concrete poured around the primarily native born rebar -- a subculture that was largely developed from WWII/Axis refugees in the hard sciences.

Children have great wonder, but must advance in small steps and highly temporary, abstract ideas. Very few can do science as almost all teachers instuct. Maybe we should start a system of nursery school Phds who also know the hard sciences? It sounds expensive but might work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Coder, I much agree from that seen first hand. But China, India, Japan, and Korea do force the issue of understanding the basic concepts of science, which is not easy in itself..
Uh oh, when writing that I meant force the issue of understanding the rote learning of going through the motions of the core basics, instead of intuition of the gesalt. In other words, form not function.

This is not easy and quite boring to almost all students anywhere in the world. But learning boring things is not difficult in those societies, because as Coder wrote the pressure cooker is on. Especially Confucian societies, doing the national examinations since the Han 2,000 years ago, it was nearly the only way for about 95% to have any chance of their children to reach the upper levels of those societies. With India, I guess it was the main way to gain mobility as well, and the South part of India seems far more free academically than the North.

In the US High Schools, the focus is on for worthless infrastructure building characteristics like personality contests, style and sports, but not very much as a peer group effort for science and maths. The link has effectively been severed, unlike in the past, in the West, with the difference being made up with immigrating students to universities. Since we are talking of a labor pool drawn from the children of many billions, and effective billion middle & upper class (where usually these students come from) global group, my America could make it work. Still, it seems so wasteful and could badly backfire as there is scant local backup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I agree.

The best way to make anything become more valued in a society is to instill this idea in children at a young age. Of course there is a catch-22 since those who weren't taught to value it are the ones that are supposed to teach the children to do so. Probably the best way to do this is to put more value in education in general. Personally, I loved going to school and learning, but I'm pretty sure that there are more K-12 students that dislike going to school and don't have a passion for learning, which is sad. Perhaps it is lack of funding, or the parents aren't active enough, or the teachers don't express the importance of learning and how interesting, fun and exciting it can be... or maybe it is how much we let religion affect things here in the U.S. It's hard to say what the cause is, but if that could be altered then perhaps the education system will change, thus bringing about a society that values science more than we do now.
Here is the first part of an excellent Feynman series. A bit grainy as the BBC interview was done in 1981, but the part you want starts at minute mark 3:30 when he talks about how his father taught him using bite sized, real life examples. Enjoy! :

More fun is in later episodes, but for early development and interest growing the 3:30 & 6:30 minute parts are invaluable. Should be in every classroom, teacher's college, home economics, and nursery school for mandatory showing. Feynman was tested at 117 IQ in his teen years, which shows what can be done to most of us with very simple methods.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
1st: "And everything we read would be translated as best we could into some reality [so I could understand what it real meant]"
------------------------
2nd part: "You will know absolutely nothing what ever at all about the bird. All you will know is about how humans in different places and what they call the bird. Let's look at the bird and what it is doing."

Stumbling upon these two very important parts of teaching science to children seems an interesting coincidence. In the distant past I have written public school textbooks for children, and these couple of issues seem to me about the most basic parts of how to do. Comments anyone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,202 Posts
What, in your opinion, needs to be done in order to make Science more interesting to society in general? How can we attract people away from brainless reality television and worshipping celebrity, and towards more fulfilling subjects like Science?
by explaining the basics of science and let scientists debate. by giving the possibilities as well as the limits of science. by acknowledging that things that cannot be proven are not interested to put emphasis on. by acknowledging that religions are about faith and interfere with language which spreads lies throughout the world, because language should be preserved for science but religion is claiming words such as "truth" or "existence" (!!!). by refusing atheism as well as religion in public media by explaining that the existence of God is irrelevant where our senses cannot be used to d such measurements. by explaining how we can live, stay alive and "love" each other. by acknowledging all these things and creating an atmosphere where personal wealth is less important and common wealth is more important.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
1st: "And everything we read would be translated as best we could into some reality [so I could understand what it real meant]"
------------------------
2nd part: "You will know absolutely nothing what ever at all about the bird. All you will know is about how humans in different places and what they call the bird. Let's look at the bird and what it is doing."

Stumbling upon these two very important parts of teaching science to children seems an interesting coincidence. In the distant past I have written public school textbooks for children, and these couple of issues seem to me about the most basic parts of how to do. Comments anyone?

Those are quotes by Feynman. The first one (3minutes 30 seconds) describes
putting complicated information into everyday life a child can easily understand.
The second one (5 minutes 30 seconds?) has his father ridicule the names
people put on something, usually to show off, and focus upon what is actually
happening.

In my posts last week, it was mentioned how overseas students learn the
names and loose basics, which is usable. I have seen personally well maintained
classes of 60 students of 9 years old for regular elementary class. Try that
in the US! But to really guide the world, and to make it interesting to the
average person, Feynman's father had a genius way to make --most -- people a
kind of genius.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Turn it into a reality show and allow people to call in and vote people off. That's the only way we get anything done in this country.

Tangential Learning, look it up.

It'll work for video games and television shows too. Thats how I learned most of what I know now
Tangential (enjoyment & play based) Learning has rather some drawbacks in that not everyone enjoys the same things, putting it mildly. It sounds like the Gary Larson cartoon that has "Every Parent's Dream" as a newspaper advertising "Nintendo Engineer, money no object" "Play Games all day in three year experiment, 70,000$ salary"etc.

I applied for a job once at a defense contractor that was, among other things, making video games for servicemen that had job related interlinks. It does work in part, but discipline is what turns the world in critical places. Science persons discovering paradigm shifting issues greatly tend to be independent, self actualized, and disciplined. Not saying that a video gamer can not be those things, but time spent on one is at the cost of the other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
816 Posts
Find out the genetic blueprints for NT's and then breed away lol If you look by general consensus not 100% majority, which type is most likely to be discussing these topics?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,933 Posts
Personally, I don't really study science because I never thoroughly studied it in college. I began as a Physics major (topped the class too, ironically enough) but switched to a more practical Accounting major.

So now I'd be lost if I even tried to keep up with the latest advancements.
 
41 - 60 of 268 Posts
Top