Why golden trash bins do not help (modern equipment in schools)

Hi,
(few days back) I am sitting in a classroom, slightly bored by the teacher saying what I heard the day back. After few minutes I am being offered to do experiments alone. I agree with the hope that it is going to be more fulfilling. Instead of getting full access to the laboratory[1] I sadly accept white box, aka trash bin.

https://www.fdgate.com/photo-2/high-school-physical-optical-experiments-box-experiment-box-lens-optical-instrument-physics-experiment-equitment-m-0915.jpg

This is kind of similar, the fact that it is chinese[2] kind of fits the situation since my german is not so good yet.


Such a box contains “scientific” equipment for the study of electro-magnetism. This consists of few cabels, power source, resistors, capacitors, all properly laid on green boards. Function generator, some frequency and amplitude thing, two coils, magnet and some stuff to hold it together. This is probably almost perfect list of things that costs the school hunderds of dollars. I took it with the manual that contained roughly 15 experiments and decided to do one of them. I put components together as it said, found out the thing it said I am supposed to find out, it gave me the formulas to calculate it.. that is all.

So now the rant against these boxes (thrash bins as my host-brother pointed out).
The problem is that such a box with set up equipment and set up experiments does not enhance any creativity in students. Especially building circuits could be one of the cool things where you try what happens when you connect this and that. That is probably the biggest problem, you can just follow some manual and not understand what is going on. Also these components are totally dependant on each other and you can use only this box alone, there is no room for expansion or only limited. Not speaking about the cost, there is another trash bin like this for 800 euro. It had wagon, line on which the wagon could drive, two movement sensors and some things to hold it together and so on. We used it during physics class to demonstrate Newton’s 2nd law (F=ma). It took so much time to set it up, to measure it all to 3 decimal places. Actually it took 90 minutes and we did not get even to the formulation of the law. People were bored and I bet that if you asked half of them what was this whole about they would not have a clue.

This is modern equipment.. and it is useless. If they bought separate components boards to built circuits on, they even have those in the school but they are not used anymore. These days teachers probably think that they can not get better with chalk and a board.

Dragallur

[1] I do not think it would be a good idea to let me there alone though I go there anyway every monday with my host-brother.

[2] I do not know if it is chinese.

Creationism vs Science: Should we teach it in schools?

Hi,
yesterday I wrote kind of prologue to those series about science and creationism. I talked about looking on the other side and not just staying on your opinion. Now as I promised this post will be about the learning of creationism in schools. I also noticed that you guys actually commented on my post which I am very happy about, so thanks again!


It has already been few months but after having the discussion about creationism I remembered it again. In our biology class in autumn we were starting to learn about the life on Earth.

My teacher said that there is an evolution and there are also other version about how it happened, creationism for example. But she said that she wont be learning us about creationism and will left us with the knowledge about evolution (we learned just few basic stuff anyway).


Now when I think about it, this sounds to me kind of unfortunate[1]. Why? Because those people who wont happen to think about it in soon future will at some point get the information, but from what source? Will it be objective (not saying that teachers are always objective, but they should be)? Plus, creationism is such an important thing from the matter that so many people believe in it and in past 99% of people thought it to be true, so how should the class look like?

I think that the teacher should explain on what creationism stands. Seven day creation, how Earth is only 6,000 years old and the Great flood. Then she/he should let the students think about this. I think that on this you can so well show how argumentation work, for example student just can not say that he thinks that seven day creation is stupid. This could learn them a bit of critical thinking and argumentation, though there is one problem.

What if in the class were some people who actually belived in creation? I mean they were surely learned by their parents about creation. Of course it would be in their greatest “benefit” to tell them about evolution and why some things are simply made up about creation, but if I think about how groups of people think in classes maybe it would be kind of like showing all the other students who were taught about the “scientific way” that those two or three students are stupid. This seems to me how it could end and there would be no benefit in it at all, I can imagine how those kids could be kind of stressed if they should trust in evolution or creationism.

What to do with it? Well you could probably pretty much eliminate the problem if you would teach it in higher classes for older students when they are more self-confident and so on, but I do not have the right experience with teaching to really tell how it would end up, still I think that it is important to learn about creationism because then later when those people who did not ever bumped into such thing could easily “convert” to creationism, and as Mike M. quoted Bill Nye, it is not beneficial for the perspective of humanity to have people believing creationism because “nature and the universe can be dismissed by a few sentences translated into English from some ancient text, you’re not going to continue to innovate” (Thanks Mike.) And trust me, if you do not know anything about the facts that creationists are using it is extremely persuasive. And yes, large percentage of population, even adults just do not know about those things as far as I know [2]. This is because it was seemingly never important to them, this leads to distrust to science and people not supporting it. Take NASA for example, just because of landing on Moon, one of the most amazing achievments of humanity, it is by part of USA population hated, just because there appeared a group of people, who were able to create arguments, which are easy to understand, but they are not true at all. Those are for example flag flapping in the breeze or blast crater under module and so on, this is practicly the same case.

Thanks for reading, next time on those series I will probably “touch” God a little.

Dragallur

[1]Of course there is limited time in class so learning about creationism would take probably two classes, maybe three depending on the teacher.

[2]I must admit here that I do not have representative sample to tell such a thing but when I see my fellow classmates I am sure that they do not care about science at all. Plus I just found out about some people who think that Earth is flat, so thats it 😀 .