Saturday, November 05, 2005

Where Science Meets Imagination

From Yahoo News:

It's a "Star Wars" fan's dream -- the first public display of props and costumes from all six films in the series, including a replica cockpit of Han Solo's asteroid-battered Millennium Falcon.

But the $5 million exhibit goes beyond entertainment and turns "Star Wars" into a educational tool for science and technology, fields in which U.S. dominance faces a challenge from a new generation of engineers in Asia.

I’m sure that the students will enjoy the exhibits, but where is their enthusiasm going to go when they come back to classrooms where, at the insistence of fundamentalists, they’re going to be taught that dinosaurs never existed, the Earth is only 5,000 years old, human beings were created in their present form, etc.

I went to Catholic schools from preschool through eighth grade in the 70’s. What I find amusing (not really) is that back then in a religious school:
  • We were taught evolution was a fact.

  • We had sex education classes where we were instructed about birth control and the focus was not on abstinence.

  • We had science classes where we conducted experiments and were encouraged to ask questions instead of being dictated to.

  • We were never taught to take biblical accounts like Adam and Eve and Noah’s ark as literal truth that trumped scientific knowledge.
We did all of the above and we had prayer in school and we went to mass all the time.

I wonder if a curriculum like that would be possible now?

Fluke passed this article on to me.


utenzi said...

Michele sent me to see you, Michelle.

I've posted a bit on some evolution oriented blogs but the whole thing doesn't really bother me. The smart kids won't have any problems understanding what's correct and the dumb ones won't go into science anyway.

The reproduction stuff is a little scary though. All the kids are going to be having sex--and kids having kids is just bad news.

rebecca said...

hi, here from michele's :)

Tammy said...

Maybe I need to pay more attention to what my kids are learning in school. They come home with some stuff that I don't agree with, but so far nothing quite as radical as what you're mentioning.

Michele sent me...and I'm glad she did. An interesting home you have here. I'll be looking around some more. :)

j00|{z said...

You were encouraged to ask questions? Without being dictated to? What crazy school did you go to? : )

Shannon said...

Very interesting! Looking at today's public education system really makes me worry about the future. I can almost see a George Orwell "1984" society coming. Children are restricted to a completely artificial environment, forced to learn and socialize with only kids their own age, and taught what the government deems safe - often outright lies about the history of the world.

BTW, my husband and I are taking our homeschooled son to the Boston MOS to see the Star Wars exhibit in December. And, yes, he will be encouraged to ask questions.

I also did the "Twenty Truths" thing on my blog - if you want to try to guess my shocking secrets. ;-)


The Mistress of the Dark said...

My nephew's went to Catholic schools up until middle school. We don't have a Catholic high school near enough to warrant sending them.

I have to say that they seemed to get a better education from the private schools than they are getting now in public schools.

So I have to agree with what you said, the plus is my nephews just finished up with catholic schools only a few years ago.

here via michele's.

Carmi said...

In this era of political correctness and the relentless influence of the religious right on the American political agenda, it's a wonder that anything at all gets taught in today's schools.

Dropped in from Michele's today. Thanks for once again provoking thought.

ribbiticus said...

hi! it does still exist in country. having come from a catholic girls' school myself from kindergarten (went to a coed university for college, though), i didn't find anything wrong with it then. just don't know about how the students feel now. if i had a kid, i would probably still prefer he/she go to a private school also.

michele sent me today. :)

Luke Cage said...

Public schools across the country are in complete disarray. I feel for this generation. At 39, I think I was part of the last generation that seemed to appreciate the simpler things in life. As well as reap the benefits of an educational system that worked. I don't know what the heck is going on today. I weep for our youth.

Pearl said...

Interesting. I wouldn't have guessed a catholic school would have been the same as the public education. Although I don't recall Noah's Ark being referenced at school once. We did have morning prayers tho.

I dearly hope it is still possible to get a rounded broadening education still.

Michelle Pessoa said...

Luke, I'm the same age as you. When I was going to school we had music and art and field trips and all sorts of things that there's no money or time for anymore.

And at the time it was commonly accepted that the schools were "bad" in comparison to what previous generations had.

Michelle Pessoa said...

Shannon, I posted my guesses on your blog. I can't wait to see the answers!

Michelle Pessoa said...

Ribbiticus, I would send my child to private school also. It's a good foundation.

Positively Cheryl said...

All I know is that todays history educators only teach from books that are heavily laced with bias, half truths, and blatant discrimination. Left up to our educators, Egypt won't be in Africa anymore and no trace of African culture will be associated with Egypt which makes me very sad -- and angry. Thanks for your thought provoking post.

Michelle Pessoa said...

They never knew what to do with regards to teaching us about Egypt in school. They'd either act like it wasn't part of Africa, or they'd act like it was the only thing of importance that ever came out of Africa.