Rhetorical Analysis of A New Way to View Science

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Ben Mitchell
Mr. Werts
AP English 3A
9/11/2012
Rhetorical Analysis of “A New Way to View Science”
Science has been taught in the same way for hundreds of years; through the pounding of facts, laws, and formulas into a student’s over-stuffed brain. This method only furthers the student’s frustration and confusion. It was always expected of the student to use their imagination to bring about their own explanations and real-world scenarios; and science was never taught to initiate these ideas through the actions of the teacher. Walter Isaacson proposes that these ideologies be changed by comparing and contrasting science education with that of English, and by giving anecdotes of Einstein’s techniques as a physicist. In Walter Isaacson’s “A New Way to View Science”, he uses anecdotes and an extended metaphor to demonstrate how and why science should be taught in more creative and imaginative ways using abstract ideas instead of mathematical facts.

In “A New Way to View Science”, Isaacson utilizes anecdotes to explain that science should be taught in creative and imaginative ways. These anecdotes refer to Albert Einstein, the man that Isaacson believes to “personify the perception that modern physics is something ordinary folks can’t try to appreciate” (146). He writes that although Einstein’s theories are seen by most people as “incredibly detailed” and “mathematically impossible to the everyday citizen” that Einstein simply “visualized vivid mental pictures that made his theories come to life” (147). This is the theory of imagination and wonder in science Isaacson attempts to portray and emphasize. Isaacson inserts anecdotes to describe the uniqueness of Einstein’s experiments because they were mostly mental experiments, and the mental experiment aspect is what Isaacson wishes the educational community would focus because of its appeal to the masses. The experiment he refers to prominently is Einstein as a 16 year old boy. “Einstein looked at James...
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