If only I’d been told…

For most of my life, I was told by parents, teachers and others that I should be a lawyer (presumably because I like to argue and defend), or a writer (presumably because I loved to write since a very early age). But if someone had introduced science to me this way, or if I had learned about anthropology or linguistics early on in life, I know I would have chosen to be a scientist. Because, when I think about it now, scientists do all that and more:

Yet, for any scientific purpose there are different sides, contrasting analyses, theories and predictions. Choosing between them and justifying one’s choices are what being a scientist is all about. And we select our theories in part using data.”

—Daniel Everett, Language: The Cultural Tool, p. 205 (2012)

All I remember is biology and chemistry in high school.

But let’s keep reducing what students learn, rather than expanding. As long as it’s all testable.


2 thoughts on “If only I’d been told…

  1. The reductionist model of teaching to specific standards simply doesn’t allow the flexibility teachers need to assess and respond to student needs in a holistic fashion.

    There’s a long-standing conflict as to whether teachers are professionals whose expert opinions are to be trusted or little more than glorified minimum wage employees whose every action needs to be both dictated and overseen.

    Unfortunately, we’ve done such a poor job recruiting and retaining effective teachers that people are making a case for the latter.

    Standardized testing is a symptom of a much deeper problem, not a solution. You’re dead on the money with this post.

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