Posted by DrJeff
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.
Latest Dr. Jeff Speaks Out posts:
- For the New School Year – Repost of the “Art Of Teaching” as a Personal Thank You to Teachers September 5, 2011
- The Address of A Self-Important World May 3, 2010
- Let’s Ban English in School …. Except in English Class December 18, 2009
- Firestorm in the Arctic: Al Gore Vindicated on Comments in Copenhagen December 16, 2009
- Shuttle Atlantis Home! Prompts Me to Look to America’s Future … and I’m Troubled November 27, 2009
- A Doctor Jeff Myth Buster: Carbon Dioxide is Just a Trace Gas – BIG DEAL! October 24, 2009
- TMN QuickLinks: Five Powerful Climate Change Lessons for A Very Important Earth Science Week October 11-17, 2009 October 11, 2009
- September 8 and September 11: Joy, Pain, and Hope September 11, 2009
- Commentary on Blue-Ribbon Panel Exploring NASA’s Strategic Options for Human Space Flight August 13, 2009
- Apples and You May 21, 2009