One of my colleagues, Current Density Magnetic Inductance, and I have been carrying on a discussion on nerd eBooks for some time. My colleague, who is much more comfortable with the evil-that-is-Apple is happy with his iPud but he is quick to declaim that this is the only Apple box he owns – now. He has used Apple desk box in past in the office – i.e., use or quit – environment. He is also frank enough to admit that the iPud is too expensive for general use as a collegiate eReader and indeed has capabilities that are difficult to control from the podium. To say nothing of its total failure, along with other computer devices (maybe) as note taking instruments.
Anyway, I ran across a raft of articles yesterday on the educationalists’ indictment of the states’ science education (?) programs. Simply put, the triangle of grade density was awfully squatted and NOT inverted as one would like. Nonetheless, the result was expected and so I picked on one article, this one [Link] from Scientific American, which is actually one of the better although it is somewhat chest tightening to admit that. Scientific American, which is still rather slumish compared to its glory days in my youth has had a few singular instances of improvement lately and I have to admit to actually considering a subscription. At least I let them send me a trial issue – not yet arrived – to permit a scathing kritik.
Recognizing that any grading system other than ‘my state continues, yours becomes non-existent’ is arbitrary and subjective,  the grading damnation is summarized by one of those graphics that we seem to do so well while being miserably inept at effectiveness,
I have a somewhat conflicted position of noting that Alibam received a “D” that puts it far above dead last or dead last but one, the usual position of our state in such lists.
I also found this statement
“The study identified four main factors: an undermining of evolution, vague goals, not enough guidance for teachers on how to integrate the history of science and the concept of scientific inquiry into their lessons, and not enough math instruction.”
as worthwhile and almost telling.
The first factor is clearly the result of boggish mysticism that has been resurgent in recent years. Short of simply shipping off the children of the asurvival deluded to separate classes on creationist mysticism and pseudo-science, I see no way to do anything substantive about this lemming rush until the nation collapses into true third world status and the children of these children will once more see education and science as avenues to longer, better life.
The vagueness is a direct result of the current climate of political and social correctness and excessive governmental direction. Why should one risk one’s life, liberty, and health when the Yankee government and every splinter educationalist terror cell shouts one down as racist, genderist, or even mediocre, the latter being accurate but basically nor dismissable.
Guidance on history and inquiry may be fixable in the doctrine but not in the implementation. By extension this is the root problem: today’s educationalists who ‘teach’ science, in the mean, have inadequate knowledge of science to be anything more than a Kindle on ‘verbalize’ mode. You cannot be effective teaching what you do not know and understand.
The last has been a problem with our educationalist system almost since the founding of the republic. If anything, our maths education has not progressed since then. We still spend ten years or so teaching arithmetic and then try to cram some higher maths into the maelstrom that is high shule.
Much of this cannot be fixed but some attempts can be made:
- Certification of teachers must follow degree. All high shule teachers must have degrees in the discipline they teach.
- Algebra needs to be introduced in third grade; Calculus taught in grade five before adolescence has its endocrine holocaust.
- No religion permitted in shules. (Yes, this one is moonbeams but it follows logically.)
- Definition of curriculum must occur at the local level. (Yes, this results in a lot of failure but we see from history it is better than what we have now under the Soviet system.)
Rotted fruit on sale in the lobby for a reasonable price plus a janitorial surcharge.
 The one cited is, admittedly, subjective, but it is not arbitrary!