O.K., fair warning: this is a rant and likely to be a long one. However, it is one that I think may find some chord of resonance in whomever reads it. So, thanks for reading. . .
Something’s been bothering me lately.
Specifically, a video I recently watched, that can be found at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAeKXdLZhOg
And, if you’d rather see an official trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoeMm0Tm95M&feature=related
My first problem is this: how can we expect our children, our future contributors to society, to be competitive in a globally connected marketplace when they must undergo the reversal of 12 years of brainwashing before they can be productive members of a modern society? Let me tell you, undoing one’s brainwashing is difficult, even when you did it to yourself.
My second problem is this: I have children, the oldest of which just turned 16. How is he supposed to respect his peers and not wonder when the crazy is going to slip out when he knows that most of his peers have their actions governed by a mythical, mystical sky-Daddy?
My third problem is this: we need more hard science graduates. We need to keep students engaged and excited about the actual reality of life around us and building the infrastructure we need, learning the math we need them to master. How can they be expected to do this at a collegiate level if the scholastic learning in their formative years was based on a curriculum that was modified in such ways as substituting one genre of music for another, or telling impressionable children that dinosaurs were on the Ark (not that the Ark should be being discussed at public school in the first place, but I digress. . ..)? They will be reeling from the betrayal, from the complete and utter dishonesty that was perpetuated by every (or nearly every) trusted adult in their lives up to that point.
Believe me, I’ve been there. Sometimes, I still am.
Here is a delightful, if long, article that details the biggest problems with attrition in hard science fields: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/education/edlife/why-science-majors-change-their-mind-its-just-so-darn-hard.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all& Now, having read that, and watched the two clips above, do you begin to see what I see?
Since my associate’s degree is in Early Education, I suppose it comes as no surprise that my last link in this chain of future hopelessness if things continue as they are currently progressing should be an article detailing the problems with keeping children in younger grades interested in science, too. Too long has science labored under the titles of “uncool”, and “for geeks only”, and other disparaging titles. http://phys.org/news/2012-04-students-science.html this article has some great ideas. I hope that future- read, near future- educators can employ some of them to help our children grow and maintain a fascination for science.
How else are we going to help our planet, progress our species, and possibly colonize our near space neighbors, such as the moon or Mars?
‘Cause I’ll tell you what, my family and I have already discussed it and as soon as they open colonization of one or the other, we’re off this rock. I will be one of the first anthropologists in space, baby!