Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'm not sure what The Scene is, and as I said above my brain seems to match the circuit III model more than any other.  I would not make a good teacher to anyone under the age of sixteen, and I should say that I was thinking in particular of education at the "pre-hormonal" level, say 6-11, rather than secondary education.

What my sense was--and is--is that there is a general feeling (I'm getting this from your diary and from the idea that people just "don't get it", where "it" is related to understanding some facts derived from scientific thinking, and where "scientific thinking" means a process that a majority of people don't understand, and that this entire process is deleterious to society.

On re-reading das monde's diary, I class myself as a person who doesn't understand the following sentence:

But the main purpose of school education (and I would be wholly happy just with that) is to help students to realize that scientific logic is something different than everyday practical-empirical logic.

I understand that the way the world works is sometimes counter-intuitive, but that would depend on what one's intuitions are.  If we take the birthday paradox


I can't make head nor tail of the maths, though I'm sure it's right.  Now I think a circuit III teacher would try and take me through it slowly, then perhaps more slowly, but there would be that underlying frustration as they realised that I couldn't "get it."

But, taking another tack (which is what a circuit V type would do, I think), the problem might be re-stated in terms of counter-intuity.  What is the simplest counter-intuitive situation we can imagine?  How about: we are moving, the sun isn't, but it looks like the sun is moving.

I've tried this test on a lot of people since I realised that I didn't naturally know the answer:

First, ask a person "Which way is north, east, west, south?"  I'd say perhaps half of the people I asked knew.

Then I'd say.  "Where does the sun get up and where does it go to bed?"

Again, there was not unanimity on this one.

Then I asked: "Okay.  We know the world is spinning.  Which way is it going, north, south, east, or west?"

The fact that most people don't know doesn't, for me, say anything about their circuit III capabilities.  Rather, it says something about the nature of science education proposed by circuit III types.

As I said, I work at circuit III so I find it very hard to get my head around the idea of being on a ball spinning in space and how that affects the position of the sun and the moon (not forgetting light pollution.)

Therefore, I think it would be better for circuit III types to worry out their thoughts about this lack of people's knowledge with circuit V types, as it seems clear (judging by history) that without that circling back to the basics (the kids never look up--they look forward; they can't do the birthday problem because they're not bothered about probabilities and and fact is that in a school of 365 people the likelihood is that only one person shares your birthday--or rather, the birthday paradox seems to resolve as a bit of a magician's trick (if I've understood correctly):

The actual birthday problem is asking if any of the 23 people have a matching birthday with any of the others -- not one in particular.

I mean, you're right that a lot of young dope smokers may like to think of themselves as circuit V types, but I don't share what is my (maybe entirely mistaken) sense that here at ET this makes them risible.  I mean, they are at least trying to think outside the work-for-money-for-success-and-progress paradigm, and also outside of the gun-status-intimidation-power paradigm.  And, of course, what I think a circuit V type knows is that there are clear reasons why their ideas struggle to touch reality, including maybe the fact that it costs money and time and materials and the good will of other people to learn.  It takes good teachers, and good teachers don't take the attitude that those who don't know are laughable.  

That may be a harsh presentation.  But I see key scientific ideas being proposed by DeAnander, and she is basically told "You want to live in an agrarian utopia", when she seems to me to be analysing what is going on and using science in a holistic sense to discuss possible solutions to problems perceived through the paradigm of "holistic science" or science-as-synthesis, where it is...

Ach.  I know a little bit about music.  A student who wants to learn how to play an instrument in order to play, say, Bach, will have to knuckle down and study, if they want to play Bach.  I would say you need both a student who wishes and is happy to play music written by others and a teacher who knows the latest techniques for the most efficient acquisition of said skills.  And, of course, some people don't have the manual dexterity (small fingers!) to acheive certain results.  But this in no way should close off the area of human activity known as "music".

I realise now, though, that I have a completely alternative view of secondary education, which I would link very strongly with the wider society, where children going through the various hormonal stages would interact not just with peers, teachers, and mass culture (tv, etc.)...but that's a whole other essay.  It's what I mean by circuit V types as teachers, though.

Not very coherent, I know, but there is something there I'd like to tease out, maybe something to do with how "science" is seen as somehow "separate" from humans, when it is one of our tools...ach...it's something like DeAnander's point about rich people thinking you can eat paper, as if some scientists think science will just continue without humans, when science is...I'm back to das monde's point that I didn't get.  I thought science was hypothesis, experiement, analysis, then repeat.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 04:02:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Others have rated this comment as follows:

melo 4


Occasional Series