Scientific Method K-12 Presentation

 
mrlevin
 
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mrlevin
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06 May 2009 20:12
 

The Reason Project could develop a humorous, layman presentation (slides and script) on the scientific method; basically, a “how we know what we know” kind of presentation. It could make the final version of the presentation available online, for people to download and present at schools or club gatherings. It would basically be a grass-roots enabler, some way for people to get involved on a small local level, while at the same time spreading word about the Reason Project, and hopefully planting some seeds of rational thought.

What are the cons here? I have a feeling their might be reputation control issues with letting people run wild with a presentation branded with the Reason Project logo. Is there any scenario where this kind of grass roots activity makes sense?

 
newolder
 
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newolder
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08 May 2009 13:18
 
smithjonathon - 06 May 2009 06:12 PM

The Reason Project could develop a humorous, layman presentation (slides and script) on the scientific method; basically, a “how we know what we know” kind of presentation. ...

http://splendidelles.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/science-vs-faith.png

As a starter, or for noticeboards, this one always works for me. smile

 
Scott
 
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Scott
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09 May 2009 17:48
 
newolder - 08 May 2009 11:18 AM
smithjonathon - 06 May 2009 06:12 PM

The Reason Project could develop a humorous, layman presentation (slides and script) on the scientific method; basically, a “how we know what we know” kind of presentation. ...

http://splendidelles.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/science-vs-faith.png

As a starter, or for noticeboards, this one always works for me. smile


I’d like to thank you for my new desktop wallpaper!!


As far as the idea the OP had, it seems good, but hard to implement into schools, especially if you have to go through the school board, and i would bet most would shut it down and claim that the current science department has done a sufficient job at explaining it. even if they haven’t.

 
tonyd
 
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tonyd
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10 May 2009 20:42
 
Scott - 09 May 2009 03:48 PM
newolder - 08 May 2009 11:18 AM
smithjonathon - 06 May 2009 06:12 PM

The Reason Project could develop a humorous, layman presentation (slides and script) on the scientific method; basically, a “how we know what we know” kind of presentation. ...

http://splendidelles.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/science-vs-faith.png

As a starter, or for noticeboards, this one always works for me. smile


I’d like to thank you for my new desktop wallpaper!!


As far as the idea the OP had, it seems good, but hard to implement into schools, especially if you have to go through the school board, and i would bet most would shut it down and claim that the current science department has done a sufficient job at explaining it. even if they haven’t.

That picture sums it all up!  Great find!

I agree that the school board would probably think “they do a fine job already” and don’t want to add to their curriculum.  Maybe offering some type of seminar would seem less invasive?  Reason Project volunteers could go to a school and give an afternoon assembly/lecture crash course in “how we know what we know.”

 
mrlevin
 
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mrlevin
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12 May 2009 14:46
 

Interesting follow up to my original post. I was just reading an article about a group called the Good News Club, which holds after-school gatherings for children at elementary schools and teaches about Christian morality, etc. Apparently, this group won it’s right to use public schools (immediately after classes end) for religious purposes in a Supreme Court decision a few years back. The SC decision said that you couldn’t discriminate against the group based on it’s religion (as a protection for free speech), but it seems like this decision would leave the door wide open for a more productive, elementary Reason Club or something like that. I don’t think that young kids should be indoctrinated, period, by being told god does or doesn’t exist, but an after school club that promoted rational thought, that showed by example how there are different levels of certainty in our knowledge of things, would go a long way towards getting people on a healthy mental path.

I have no memory, in all my schooling, of being taught how we know what we know, or the difference between some piece of knowledge being well supported (by evidence) or poorly supported. I think that clarification of this at a young age could be very transformational.

Are there already clubs like this, does anyone know?

 
chadley
 
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chadley
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13 May 2009 05:58
 

This idea makes me think back to my early days of elementary/middle school education. Personally, I was taught everything from christianity to greek mythology long before any sort of scientific views on life. A type of “reason” club could be very beneficial in broadening peoples perspectives while they’re still impressionable. Too often religious diversity is covered early on in the education system, whereas explanations of the scientific method are omitted. Maybe the solution to this, as you said mrlevin, is to simplify the concept of the scientific method as much as possible in order to present it earlier on in an individual’s education. I think this is a great idea for planting a root of logic into young mind, enabling to be unfettered by religious close-mindedness.

I should note that I realize children are often schooled with “science” classes at a young age (looking at bugs maybe), but that type of education in science is very different than if they would be learning about how science draws logical conclusions etc.

 
gcheng
 
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gcheng
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13 May 2009 17:25
 
chadley - 13 May 2009 03:58 AM

This idea makes me think back to my early days of elementary/middle school education. Personally, I was taught everything from christianity to greek mythology long before any sort of scientific views on life. A type of “reason” club could be very beneficial in broadening peoples perspectives while they’re still impressionable. Too often religious diversity is covered early on in the education system, whereas explanations of the scientific method are omitted.

Actually, Daniel Dennett advocates the teaching a survey of all the world’s religions to kids at an early age.  He thinks that if kids are taught Christianity alongside Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Greek mythology, Nordic mythology, etc., then they will see that Christianity’s claims are no less outrageous than the claims of other, obviously unbelievable, religions.  This makes sense.  I think that empiricism or rationalism is a bit difficult to teach to kids before the second or third grade, and before they reach that age, they will have had years of unopposed religious brainwashing at home.  So it’s important to try to inoculate them against their home religion at an age, and probably the best way to do this would be to have them learn about all religions.

 
chadley
 
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chadley
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13 May 2009 17:49
 

I totally agree with presenting all religious belief early on; I think a full presentation of how people view the world allows for a type of freedom for intellectual growth. Empiricism and rationalism, in my opinion, don’t have to be difficult for young minds to grasp (for example teaching something like “we ask questions about the world, and TEST them with mathematics, physics etc.” could be presented). I think it would be very important to display the scientific perspective on things amongst the theistic approaches. If you present only theistic views to children because you think rationalism is too advanced you have a problem. They may view theism as the only view of the world and cling to it. I guess I would be going against Dennett by saying that in order for children to realize christianity’s claims are no less outrageous than the claims of the others, it requires an innate rationalism ( I don’t think enough people have this, especially most religious). Therefore those children without an innate rationalism may still cling to religious views, as the scientific method was delayed in their education.

 
gcheng
 
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gcheng
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14 May 2009 14:27
 
chadley - 13 May 2009 03:49 PM

Empiricism and rationalism, in my opinion, don’t have to be difficult for young minds to grasp (for example teaching something like “we ask questions about the world, and TEST them with mathematics, physics etc.” could be presented).

Yeah, thinking about this more, you’re probably right.  You probably just need to get some basic concepts into their heads, such as “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”, or the fact that people’s perceptions are very subjective.  And it’d also be good to present science as a positive force, so that religion doesn’t get a monopoly on this claim.  For example, that it was people using scientific inquiry that led to modern medicine or the technology to fly and use electricity.

 
Hypersapien
 
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Hypersapien
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14 May 2009 14:36
 
newolder - 08 May 2009 11:18 AM
smithjonathon - 06 May 2009 06:12 PM

The Reason Project could develop a humorous, layman presentation (slides and script) on the scientific method; basically, a “how we know what we know” kind of presentation. ...

http://splendidelles.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/science-vs-faith.png

As a starter, or for noticeboards, this one always works for me. smile


It is proper netiquette to post the original source.

http://miscellanea.wellingtongrey.net/2007/01/15/science-vs-faith/

Just saying. wink

 
tonyd
 
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tonyd
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19 May 2009 19:29
 
gcheng - 13 May 2009 03:25 PM

Actually, Daniel Dennett advocates the teaching a survey of all the world’s religions to kids at an early age.  He thinks that if kids are taught Christianity alongside Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Greek mythology, Nordic mythology, etc., then they will see that Christianity’s claims are no less outrageous than the claims of other, obviously unbelievable, religions.  This makes sense.  I think that empiricism or rationalism is a bit difficult to teach to kids before the second or third grade, and before they reach that age, they will have had years of unopposed religious brainwashing at home.  So it’s important to try to inoculate them against their home religion at an age, and probably the best way to do this would be to have them learn about all religions.


I agree.  I think if children are taught at a young age, that all these religions make the same claims, with the same lack of evidence…rationalism, empiricism, reason, will manifest eventually.  They also need to be taught that it’s “OK, to not pick any of those religions at all.”  Teach that alongside scientifically researched origins for our universe and natural selection on a micro, macro, and cosmic level…a little dash of secular ethics, or something along those lines. 

To me, that seems like it falls into the “freedom of/from religion” clause in the constitution that people like to quote so often to justify their beliefs, why not use that clause to justify giving the equal consideration to all religions/lack of and changing the way we teach?

Rabble, rabble, rabble…


TonyD