Dr. Jeff Speaks Out

 Copyright 2009 | About this blog

 

A blog post on the debate of the moment.

 

There’s often an important issue being debated that affects America or the world, or how we humans interpret some facet of our existence. Debates where understanding the science behind the issue is vital for us to craft informed opinions, and make informed decisions—even decisions about what to teach our children in a science class. Issues like global warming, climate change, and how we as a society should respond; evolution versus intelligent design; and the debate over the Big Bang. In many cases—unbeknownst to the debaters—the debate swirls around the public’s deep misconception about what scientists mean by the term ‘Theory’. It is definitely not an ‘idea’ or a ‘concept’, which are the most common usages found in a dictionary. A Theory is far, far, more.

 

Dr. Jeff Speaks Out will help teachers of science be prepared for these debates, by arming them with the scientific evidence. and how to bring it into the classroom, so that students can own the exploration and reach their own conclusions—based on the evidence.  (See my Resource Page The Power of Models.)

 

For instance, teaching about the Big Bang should *never* be limited to simply saying that the Big Bang Theory holds the universe was created about 13.7 billion years ago. That’s nothing but a statement that can either be taken on faith (not good science), or challenged by the student (good science.) Yet teachers are often not equipped to take on such a challenge in the science classroom—which is ironic given science advances through challenging any and all statements about how the world works. Teachers need the real data, so that students can determine for themselves, as in this example, why we are so confident that the Big Bang took place.  

 

Dr. Jeff Speaks Out will be my contribution to the debate of the moment, based on the scientific evidence, and boiled down to basics that can be brought right into the classroom—with conceptual understanding being the goal. Since a blog post is such a limited space, I’ll also likely take the added step of turning the post into one of my more detailed blog Resource Pages.

 

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