Being passionate about science, I wonder a lot about the way I was taught science throughout school (and at college) and the way the people I know are being taught science in educational institutes. I think there is something fundamentally wrong with any approach that seeks to impose a linguistic corset on the processes involved in the understanding of science. You don’t make people good at science by making them learn answers to questions and then evaluating how well they reproduce those answers in an exam, not more than you can produce Olympic medallists by teaching them the history of their discipline as in who won what in the past!
That approach only tends to work as long as what is being evaluated is the state of knowledge about what is known about the world. Science, however, happens to be much more than a mere compendium of facts that is supposed to be assimilated. It is a process, a set of tools, a systematic approach that enables one to discern relationships between different things and examine the nature of those relationships.
It is also about being fundamentally rebellious in a strange sort of way, it is an attempt to try and be a paradigm shifter in matters of human knowledge. It involves not being satisfied with the nature of explanations but to probe further, to see if there are chinks in the proverbial armour of our knowledge of observational reality, or if there are gaps that need patching up. Science may, as far as one is inclined to treat it as an enterprise, eventually turn out to be unending. There’s so much to learn, so much to ask, and so much to find out.
It is in light of this that I find the almost authoritarian “You shall accept what I tell thee, and don’t ask me questions!” attitude that is so much a feature of science educators (this would appear to be a feature of educators here in general, too) here a bit bizarre, for science class, in my opinion, is a place that should not only entail knowing what is known to be true, but...
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