The science of leaning and learning science
Posted on 12 December 2013
There’s been plenty of talk in recent days about the lamentable standard of education in the UK, especially in the science subjects, maths and IT. And let’s get this straight from the off – it is a genuine worry.
However, to lay the problem solely at the feet of teachers is unfair – wider society is to blame too; we live in a world where patent gibberish gets peddled as learning so it’s little wonder that out children grow up not ‘getting’ it.
Alternative remedies and homeopathy are simply nonsense – they should be banned for being unsubstantiated rubbish. And yet people support their practitioners despite their being not a shred of evidence that their quackery works.
Homeopathic ‘doctors’ have gone on hunger strike in India, saying they should be allowed to administer allopathic medicines [their word, not mine] during emergencies. Now, I thought that homeopathy worked by administering minuscule amounts of substances for a therapeutic effect. If that’s the case then not eating should have the starving protesters jumping around, full of energy.
Okay, so India’s not the UK but there are faith healers, shaman, palmists and clairvoyants working on many of our high streets. Should we be worried? Yes, clearly we should.
Meanwhile, we have a chain of coffee shops that boasts it avoids ‘obscure chemicals’ in its sandwiches – to which we should ask, perhaps, what’s obscuring them? There are no such things as obscure chemicals, Pret A Manger… just because your marketing wonks failed to pay attention during chemistry is no reason for them to inflict their ignorance of the rest of the world.
And blow me down… even our fave search engine’s at it. Step forward Google and explain why the news ‘link’ on your home page is now described as an ‘app’. Since when has an HTML hyperlink been a software application? Can I become an apps developer simply by adding links to my webpage? Really… can I? No.
Science, IT and engineering shape our environment – they’ve been used to create the modern world in all its splendour and yet when push comes to shove great swathes of our population still believe in gypsy curses, various forms of divination, the influence of mystics and the healing power of crystals.
We need to rid ourselves of this anti-learning bunk PDQ as it is as damaging to the individual as it is to the wider community. In the meantime I’m off to renew my membership of the Flat Earth Society – it’s got the science to back up its claims, so there!
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