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« Nonsensical green employment | Main | The 97% in Parliament »
Tuesday
Oct212014

Primary science

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/11157299/Top-university-gives-science-lessons-to-primary-age-pupils.html

I was interested to read this article about  boosting primary science teaching. In view of the fact that it originates from Imperial College , I just wondered if anyone has had experience of using the materials supplied and whether they are even-handed about our favourite topic.

TM

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Reader Comments (24)

"Give me four years to teach the children, and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted."

Vladimir Lenin

Oct 21, 2014 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

"Give me four years to teach the children, and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted." Vladimir Lenin

Never say never; in this case, seventy years.

Oct 21, 2014 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered Commenteralleagra

I wouldn't worry. In my experience, the only really gullible people in the schools are the teachers.

Children and particularly teenage children are natural sceptics.

Oct 21, 2014 at 4:47 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

This is nothing new theyve been running this scheme from Durham uni for the north of england for a while now. search for Durham university science outreach programme. A very good friend of mine Dr Pete Edwards runs the physics section { go to the site and click on the " from higgs to hubble sidebar " . This is a brilliant educational facillty for kids and teachers alike and i would recommend that all parents of school age children to go and take a look at what they offer and promote it to your schools.

Oct 21, 2014 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered Commenterdouptingdave

They certainly aren't un-biased at my Daughters school. In a science book; for want of a better word, given to her it helpfully explains that the main constituents of a dry atmosphere are 1. Nitrogen. 2. Oxygen and 3. Carbon dioxide and then went on to explain the CO2 contribution to global warming.

I attended parents evening and the teacher was a bit put out when I mentioned the author of the book had forgotten Argon as the 3rd most common constituent. I came away with the opinion that this may have been news to him.

Oct 21, 2014 at 7:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike

I'm standing with Mike here. Pretty much every school science topic comes with a big side-order of enviro-babble.

I'm not there in the lessons so I read my daughter's textbooks. I read that "copper is a finite resource". On the same page I read that copper is refined using "chemicals". This is in a chemistry textbook. I get the feeling that the textbook is written by the kind of journalists that write in-flight magazines.

The chapter on the solar system ends with a stern warning that the Sun will go super-nova in 20million years time. But the next chapter tells us that solar-panels will run forever.

Oct 21, 2014 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

MikeHaseler

"Children and particularly teenage children are natural sceptics."

I agree, and I so hope that we're right, because it might be the only thing that saves us from the stupid ecoloony ideologues that are intent on wrecking our society. Salmond, politically, is a t**t in my view, but I support his stance of extending the vote down to 16's.

Oct 21, 2014 at 7:56 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

The thought entered my mind that similarly constructed education tools representing scepticism should be used to educate the 'Imperial College' regime.

Oct 21, 2014 at 10:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred

Several years ago I was asked to give a sceptics viewpoint on climate change to a class of bright 10 year olds expected to go n to grammar school.

They were very indoctrinated and believed that co2 comprised over half of the atmosphere with nearly all of that being contributed by man.

They had a very nihilistic view of the world which many thought would be almost unnhabitable before they became adults.

It may be that atmospheric science is politicised with a certain viewpont being taught, as I am sure they must have had a better grasp of general science than came over during my time there.

Tonyb

I found it very depressing.

Oct 21, 2014 at 10:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterTonyb

I agree, and I so hope that we're right, because it might be the only thing that saves us from the stupid ecoloony ideologues that are intent on wrecking our society. Salmond, politically, is a t**t in my view, but I support his stance of extending the vote down to 16's.

Oct 21, 2014 at 7:56 PM | Salopian
================================

You HAVE to be joking. No representation without taxation please! Of course, Labour want it - the young are naturally socialist. They (some of them) grow up. Labour have enough advantages already with the West Lothian question and the constituency boundary imbalance in their favour without handing them another god knows how many million voters.

Oct 22, 2014 at 4:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Here in Australia, there are moves afoot to reduce the volume of green indoctrination in cross curricula.
The former left government was promoting that whenever an example was needed to expain a concept in any subject, the example should come from one of three cross curriculum choices, being Asia/Asian studies, Aboriginal history/development and sustainability.
Time will tell if the Abbott government can soon have its way to ungreen.
It is obviously not prudent for education authorities to place heavy emphasis on sxcience topics that have as much uncertainty as 'sustainability' contains. Surely it would be exciting to show pupils some of the excitement of the science used in space exploration or new pharmaceuticals or computers.
I have to disagree with comments above that all is ok because our youngsters are sceptical by nature and see through green fog. Many do not. Some become teachers who continue the pseudo intellectual inbreeding.
There is a pressing need for course material of the type discussed, but it needs to have a low propaganda content. I had thought that such material was readily available and not newsworthy. Some brilliantly good course material could even have export potential to generate income for smart countries. It would have been handy to have some here in Australia to illustrate what a good cross curriculum looks like.
Geoff

Oct 22, 2014 at 5:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

Jeremy Poynton on Oct 22, 2014 at 4:20 AM

"No representation without taxation please!"

And, soon, they will be compelled to be at school until the age of eighteen! Extended mass indoctrination, or might it have a side effect of children having even more contempt for adults, authority, trust, and Science in particular, or just confused?

But it will help PIE's objectives: lowering the age of consent below sixteen.

Oct 22, 2014 at 10:01 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Jeremy Poynton on Oct 22, 2014 at 4:20 AM

"No representation without taxation please!"

And, soon, they will be compelled to be at school until the age of eighteen!

Oct 22, 2014 at 10:01 AM | Robert Christopher
==================================================

Yes, that's a nonsense as well.

Oct 22, 2014 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Well it isn't just science subjects that are oddly eco-affected. Being asked to help with history homework on native americans and their apparently idyllic lifestyle, I was asked by my stepson what else he could possibly write about how great it was to live in a tipi so I suggested he mention some of the obvious disadvantages to tent-living that led to new settlers building log-cabins. Of course it was tongue-in-cheek: We both knew that would get him a bad mark.

Oct 22, 2014 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Somewhat related to this I heard on the radio (BBC World Service science) recently of a new strategy to teach "empathy" for climate change in schools. Apparently, stories about polar bears just don't work, the stories must be about human suffering, so the plan is for schools to link up with those in other countries (Bangladesh seems favourite) where climate change is happening now.

Oct 22, 2014 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

Oct 21, 2014 at 4:47 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler said "... the only really gullible people in the schools are the teachers."

Which is why, today, the UK will be freezing this winter, Belgium is out looking at trees to burn, Germany is digging more coal and France is planning on nuking half their nuke power plants. But it's OK since only the teachers are gullible. A sad fact is their students seem to vote. Quite a shame actually.

Oct 22, 2014 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

There is an entire UK blog tracking schoolbook bias, that has been running for years.
climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk
and in Australia ACM tracks indoctrination

Oct 22, 2014 at 12:25 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

...the plan is for schools to link up with those in other countries (Bangladesh seems favourite) where climate change is happening now.
Since, the last I heard, Bangladesh is one of those countries that is gaining land mass, good luck with that idea.
Since we are talking about educating our children I presume that any reference to Pacific island nations being swamped by rising sea levels will also explain how this equates with (a) the fact that sea levels in that part of the world appear not to be rising, and (b) the fact that some of these islands are in the process of developing their tourist trade to the extent that they are building airports.
That's only a suggestion, mind.

Oct 22, 2014 at 3:45 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

The empathy thing caught my attention. It seems to be from a chap called Roman Krznaric, who is a founder of the School of Life. It all seems to be about feeling good about yourself, a sort of compilation or amplification of all those self-help books, and advice columns to be found in magazines. Mostly harmless I would guess, and it may even cheer some folks up.

The climate stuff though is not so benign. Using Empathy to Combat Climate Change describes it. As so often is the case, deleting the word 'change' in 'climate change' helps the article read more easily, and cause fewer conniptions in those of us not impressed by the CO2 scare brigades. In this article he also makes the odd claim that slavery was abolished thanks to 'mass action, collective action'. As I recall, it was abolished in much of the world largely thanks to a handful of people, mostly 'dead white western males' so despised by 'progressives', backed up by military force, not least that of the British navy. Anyway, coming back to climate. Krznaric is convinced that bad weather, adverse climates, and geography-related hardships such as floods are due to change in climate, and that schools should get in contact with schools in areas having a hard time from said climate 'change' in order to convince the children to 'insulate their homes' and 'get out on to the streets' and 'push the politicians to come to new global agreements'. To all of which I would say, leave the kids alone.

It is not just Krznaric. Here is another source http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/can_empathy_stop_climate_change. They reckon that getting us to empathise with animals rather than with other people would be more effective to get the political actions they want:

... Invoking a threat to humans led to no significant impact on the respondents’ willingness to reduce their carbon footprint—while invoking a threat to birds led to the most significant change of all. This result actually echoes at least one previous study, which found seeing birds or trees harmed by human activity provoked a stronger empathic response.

Oct 22, 2014 at 4:41 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

New story just broke firstly in the Quadrant, then Morano, then Delingpole, then WUWT
- A graphic novel on the subject of supermarket Santa slaughter to save the planet

Climate Changed New York publisher Abrams has issued a “Teacher’s Guide to Climate Changed” for 15-18 year olds. It was written in June, 2014, by Peter Gutierrez, curriculum developer and graphic novels expert for the US National Council of Teachers of English*. Interesting PDF
*(I checked it's general teaching not just teaching English to foreigners, but I don't know how big the membership is)

Oct 22, 2014 at 7:07 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

"No representation without taxation please!"

Agree. Unemployed people shouldn't vote.
Nor should pensioners.

Oct 23, 2014 at 5:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan H

Oct 22, 2014 at 4:41 PM | John Shade

... Invoking a threat to humans led to no significant impact on the respondents’ willingness to reduce their carbon footprint—while invoking a threat to birds led to the most significant change of all. This result actually echoes at least one previous study, which found seeing birds or trees harmed by human activity provoked a stronger empathic response.

Windmill fanatics seem to have painted themselves into a corner there!

Oct 23, 2014 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

Now if global warming could be shown to affect dogs they'd really be onto a winner, in the UK at least..

Oct 23, 2014 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Oct 23, 2014 at 6:25 PM | Messenger

Global warming is caused by dogs. Without dogs there would be no doggie CO2, fewer doggie food factories, etc etc

Oct 24, 2014 at 12:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

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