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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio 528

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the thinking-leads-to-questioning dept.
frdmfghtr (603968) writes Over at Ars Technica, there's a story about a bill in the Ohio legislature that wants to downplay the teaching of the scientific process. From the article: "Specifically prohibiting a discussion of the scientific process is a recipe for educational chaos. To begin with, it leaves the knowledge the kids will still receive—the things we have learned through science—completely unmoored from any indication of how that knowledge was generated or whether it's likely to be reliable. The scientific process is also useful in that it can help people understand the world around them and the information they're bombarded with; it can also help people assess the reliability of various sources of information." The science standards would have "...focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than scientific processes; and prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another." Political interpretation of scientific facts include humans contributing to climate change according to the bill's sponsor, who also thinks intelligent design would be OK under the law.
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

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  • This is good! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:31AM (#47765447)

    I've argued many times before that the problem with "Intelligent Design" is not that whether it's "true" or not, but rather that it's not science because it ignores the Scientific Method and thus does not belong in a science class. I'm glad that this lawmaker, at least, is willing to address that argument directly instead of obfuscating.

    He's still wrong, of course, but at least he's less intellectually dishonest than the average creationist. That's convenient, since it makes his position -- which is that Ohio should prohibit schools from teaching science entirely (since science is the Scientific Method) -- easier to both understand and oppose.

  • Here we go again (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:36AM (#47765519) Homepage

    Religion has no place in schools. How many times have you seen scientists starting wars over theories and results?

    "1 + 1 equals 3!"
    "Only for larger values of 1, you heathen!"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:42AM (#47765603)

    Predicted by Dr. Kenneth Miller in his 2006 presentation about the Kitzmiller et al vs Dover.

    "The Collapse of Intelligent Design: Will the Next Monkey Trial be in Ohio?"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohd5uqzlwsU

    11 years in the making, the weakening of the definition of 'science'.

    Can't wait for the PhD in Horoscopes, Witchcraft, etc.

  • On the other hand... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:50AM (#47765721)

    I've been in high school. It's not like they really try to teach people how to apply the scientific method. They describe how the scientific method is supposed to work and then continue shoveling facts at the students. If they aren't going to engage, I'm not sure there's much point in telling students something that they'll ignore.

    I have the same problem with teaching evolution in schools. They don't have time to explain it well, so students walk away thinking, "We used to be apes, but one of our ancestors magically changed into a human being because apes' necks are too short to reach the leaves at the tops of the trees." What, that was the giraffe explanation? Damn it!

    If they can't be bothered to explain how something works, I'd rather they dropped it in favor of doing an in depth understanding of something else. In an ideal world perhaps everyone would get a renaissance education that would allow them to understand the scientific method. Here in the real world we have to settle for what students will actually bother to learn.

  • by larkost (79011) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @12:05PM (#47765887)

    Do you have a source for that? The only things I can find in this area:

    1) In 1995 they "re-centered" the test because scores were starting to slip.
    2) In 2005 the Math section was made marginally harder to reduce the number of perfect scores. They also changed the verbal section to remove analogies.
    3) In 2016 they will remove the more obscure vocabulary words to focus on more commonly used words.
    4) MENSA will no longer take scores from the SAT after January of 1994 as criteria for admission.

    None of this speaks to a steadily rising difficulty. And with one exception seems to indicate a little bit of the opposite.

  • by raymorris (2726007) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @12:33PM (#47766185)

    > Did you miss the part where the bills author finds that the bill would allow the teaching of intelligent design?

    That's not in the article, and the bill doesn't say that. The bill PROHIBITS teaching any religious interpretation. That's the plain English text of the bill.

    What IS in the article, is that when a reporter asked the clickbait question of whether school boards could consider addressing the topic of intelligent design, one of the sponsors said "“I think it would be good for them to consider the perspectives of people of faith." he didn't say the bill would allow it, which makes sense given that the bill explicitly and clearly prohibits it.

  • by ganjadude (952775) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @12:54PM (#47766427) Homepage

    most of thethey do is disburse funds from the fed to the states

    and this is the exact problem I have with the dept of ed. People in ny shouldnt be paying for students in cali, and people in north dakota should not be paying for students in fla. Keep the money local, and get rid of the overhead. Not to mention the fed can play games with the states, making requirements to receive funding that have nothing to do with education. Its wrong

  • by andi75 (84413) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @04:24PM (#47768925) Homepage

    You know what? You're right.

    These sentences, found in an internet forum, have renewed my faith in humanity! Thank you!

(1) Never draw what you can copy. (2) Never copy what you can trace. (3) Never trace what you can cut out and paste down.

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