Saturday, 10 May 2008

There appears to be difference between "education" and "schooling"

To quote myself:

"I have commented here before that I am not particularly impressed with the quality of the science education that I received at school. I had some great teachers, but they were hamstrung by the curriculum".

I have just been alerted (thank you, Mark) that one possible explanation of this comes from Richard Feynman, and although he was talking about a particular situation in America, I wouldn't be too surprised if something similar was not the case here in Australia, when it comes to schools buying textbooks:

They were false. They were hurried. They would try to be rigorous, but they would use examples (like automobiles in the street for "sets") which were almost OK, but in which there were always some subtleties. The definitions weren't accurate. Everything was a little bit ambiguous -- they weren't smart enough to understand what was meant by "rigor." They were faking it. They were teaching something they didn't understand, and which was, in fact, useless, at that time, for the child."

It goes on in that vein for some time, with impressive (and quite scary) amounts of detail.

We're all doomed.

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