Historical Science Education v. Content
What is the best way to be teaching science?
The author of Prothesis Blogspot, one of my favorite blogs on the Internet, recently wrote a really fascinating article entitled "How Should Science be Taught?" You can find it by clicking here and looking at the entry for September 29, 2004 (since it is the first essay, it is somewhat hard to miss). In the article he discusses how science education is often approached from the wrong angle.
All too often, science education discussions focus on what content should be taught in the classroom, rather than how science should be taught in the classroom. The obvious current example is whether Intelligent Design should be taught in the science classroom. Taking the advice of the three wise men and the article mentioned above, I'd like to suggest that the sciences be taught as history, with content taking a secondary place.
First, let me make myself clear. I'm not saying that content doesn't matter. A highschool physics class, for example, needs to cover mechanics, thermodynamics, waves, light, sound, electricity, and magnetism. Content does matter. What I am saying is that science should be history-driven, rather than content-driven.
Interested? You should read the entire essay because it may open your eyes to different ways of looking at this issue.