Sunday, March 16, 2014

Why Science?

Having endured (survived?) two weeks of state testing—with an additional week yet to go—I feel starved for nourishing, hopeful science.

For 15 years now, I've seen firsthand the damage wrought by standardized testing. These tests stifle creativity, curiosity, and the human desire to understand and discover—in both students and teachers. Learning is reduced to its lowest forms: to the memorization and regurgitation of bland facts; to mindless reading and writing and bubbling with wooden, graphite-based, number 2 pencils; to the measurement of socioeconomic wealth and privilege disguised as "assessment." Is it any wonder that our educational system continues to suffer under this "Race to the Top" where "No Child's Left Behind"?

So then... Why does science matter: to me, to our students, to our economy, to our society, to our planet? Where is the purpose and hope for science in our schools and in our lives?

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson once again eloquently explains why science and science literacy matter in both a democratic society and our human quest to understand the universe:

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