• In total there are 2 users online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 2 guests (based on users active over the past 60 minutes)
    Most users ever online was 616 on Thu Jan 18, 2024 7:47 pm

"Science Myths" in K-6 grade textbooks

Engage in discussions encompassing themes like cosmology, human evolution, genetic engineering, earth science, climate change, artificial intelligence, psychology, and beyond in this forum.
Forum rules
Do not promote books in this forum. Instead, promote your books in either Authors: Tell us about your FICTION book! or Authors: Tell us about your NON-FICTION book!.

All other Community Rules apply in this and all other forums.
User avatar
Mr. P

1F - BRONZE CONTRIBUTOR
Has Plan to Save Books During Fire
Posts: 3826
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:16 am
19
Location: NJ
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 137 times
Gender:
United States of America

"Science Myths" in K-6 grade textbooks

Unread post

Misconceptions about ScienceQuote:I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong.That is just a quote I agree with. The page is more than a few quotes. Just found this while surfing and thought it interesting. Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.I came to get down, I came to get down. So get out ya seat and jump around - House of PainHEY! Is that a ball in your court? - Mr. PI came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
User avatar
Mr. P

1F - BRONZE CONTRIBUTOR
Has Plan to Save Books During Fire
Posts: 3826
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:16 am
19
Location: NJ
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 137 times
Gender:
United States of America

Re: "Science Myths" in K-6 grade textbooks

Unread post

Welcome to Booktalk (well...welcome to the discussions).Thanks for your response. I am interested in your opinions on the state of science education and what you think can be done to make it better and more true.What grade do you teach? What state? Are the textbooks totally bogus or just not focusing on the reality of how science is done? Do they contain anything more than just a few useless facts in any way? How do you deal with NOT really teaching science and having to push the drivel of standardized testing?I cannot stand standardized testing...what kid have you ever met that was 'standard'...what the heck does that even imply? All I see is that it can artificially increase average scores to make it seem like politicians are fixing education.Shame...Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy PiperEdited by: misterpessimistic  at: 4/11/05 9:58 pm
aquamarine05

Re: "Science Myths" in K-6 grade textbooks

Unread post

I agree...this is my first post. I have read some of the discussions here and feel like I have finally found a place to discuss books and issues important to me. I am a science teacher. I cannot tell you how many times I have found the book to be inadequate, not only for teaching, but for learning. Many times, students ask me questions that I simply have to respond to with an "I don't know," or "there really is no simple explanation for that" or "This is what scientists know now....but, who knows what we will find in the future." These responses create great classroom discussions, but that is not what the state wants. The state wants high scores on standardized tests, where students are to memorize an incoherent list of mostly useless facts and diagrams. They are then forced to analyze diagrams in order to answer the way a testmaker would want them to answer.So, I agree. Even though I am the "teacher," there are many times I am happy with not knowing than having "answers" that might be wrong.
MadArchitect

1E - BANNED
The Pope of Literature
Posts: 2553
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2004 4:24 am
19
Location: decentralized

Re: "Science Myths" in K-6 grade textbooks

Unread post

Always good to see a new face, Aquamarine. Given that you're a teacher somewhat disatisfied with the educational system, I'd be interest as to what you thought about this thread in the philosophy forum: My (hypothetical) education. Hope to see more from you on the forums!
aquamarine05

Re: "Science Myths" in K-6 grade textbooks

Unread post

Hello there Mr. P and Mad, To answer some of your questions, Mr. P, I teach 6, 7, and 8th science in Texas; yes, Texas, the state where billions of dollars are thrown into standardized testing through this new "TAKS" test. Over the past few years, middle school science has undergone radical changes. It used to be that 6th grade was all Physical Science, 7th was all Life Science and 8th was all Earth Science. In this way, students were able to truly get in-depth with the material and see connections between lessons and units. However, about three years ago, the state decided to change it. So, now the required knowledge and skills at each level is extremely broad and not connected. In all levels, we start out with chemistry, which we can only spend about 4 weeks on. Then, we move on to physics, which we can only spend about 3 weeks on. Then, the 6th and 7th graders move on to Life Science and Physical Science, while the 8th graders move on to concepts in Earth Science. Scattered throughout all curriculums are concepts of astronomy, environmental science, etc. So, basically, the state thinks that, by having a little bit of everything introduced each year, and the same units being repeated (somewhat), that many gaps will be filled in through middle school. They think that somehow, these students, will remember what they learned exactly a year ago and remember it well enough to continue to build on it. If you were teaching adults, this concept might work. However, most middle school kids are so hormonal, they can't think beyond what they learned last week, much less last year. Needless to say, by trying to widen the curriculum, the state has done a great disservice to students. To get around this, well, I am not sure I have an answer for that. The state mandates, through "TEKS, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills" what I HAVE to teach students. In all of my lesson plans, I have to document which skill is being taught. These skills are not broad like they used to be; they are very specific, like "students will know what will happen and be able to predict changes occuring in the rock cycle, carbon cycle, human life cylce and nitrogen cycle." I usually do hands-on activities, which work really well, but not all units are set up to be hands-on. In that case, I use the book (if it has a good description on the concept) or a discussion format. I have one class that loves to ask alot of questions, so we engage in more informal discussions about why or how, or what will happen if... I think all students want these kind of answers in a science class. And, I love to give them these answers. However, the truth is that educators are under so much pressure to teach the TEKS that many times I cut down discussion time to have time to learn about what I am required to teach. This is the first year that an 8th grade TAKS will be administered, so I will be curious to find out what 8th graders across Texas are really learning about Science. 5th graders have been taking a science TAKS for about the last 3 years, but overall, the scores have been dismal in comparison to the math and reading TAKS scores (which students take in every grade). The only grades in which students MUST pass the TAKS in order to move on are the 3rd grade Math and Reading and the exit level (11th grade) Math, Reading, Social Studies and Science. When I was in High School, we took the TAAS, which was a very basic, easy test. The new TAKS test really is a critical reading and thinking test. If you can critically read and think, you are guarranteed to pass the reading part and probably the social studies. However, the Math and Science are so skill-based that most students end up having many difficulties with passing these tests. So, that is what is going on in a nutshell. I will be looking at the forum that Mad invited me to. I have already read through some interesting points, and I have to say that when I was in college, I agreed with many points made. However, actually being a teacher in the system has served to enhance some of the ideologies I had in college as well as served to radically change how I had previously felt about education. So, I will see you there!Aqua
User avatar
Mr. P

1F - BRONZE CONTRIBUTOR
Has Plan to Save Books During Fire
Posts: 3826
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:16 am
19
Location: NJ
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 137 times
Gender:
United States of America

Re: "Science Myths" in K-6 grade textbooks

Unread post

Texas....I watched a documentary a while back that went into just how much influence Texas has on national textbook content...I was quite horrified, since the conservatives there seem to want some form of creation science (read: crapola) in them (obviously) and also want health books to avoid certain topics (birth control and some others).Is Texas a place you were born and bred, or to which you emigrated?Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
aquamarine05

Re: "Science Myths" in K-6 grade textbooks

Unread post

Yes, I am a Texan born and bread by technical state lines, but I actually consider myself closer to the New Mexican culture and community. I go to New Mexico quite often to escape into the mountains and have some tranquility.Texas conservatives have really pushed textbook publishers to eliminate evolution in texts as well as limit what is said about sex. Since Texas is willing to pour billions of dollars into one single textbook, most publishers write their textbooks to be able to appeal to huge states like Texas and California. Then, those same books end up in other states, resulting in the large influence to which you speak of. The entire state is very much influenced by these conservative ideals. I cover my own butt by sending home parent letters before I start covering anything related to sex. As far as evolution, the middle school textbooks don't even mention it. They start by explaining single celled organisms developing and then go onto entire human body systems. So, I show videos that explain the gaps, giving students a connection between the ocean, single celled organisms and how we became a species reliant on sexual reproduction. I never really say "this is evolution," or I will probably get mauled. I have heard that the latest trend with the high school science books is to place stickers inside the book that says "Evolution is one theory of the development of humans, it is not the only theory." In this way, teachers would be prone to allow a "creation" theory to override scientific study. My middle schoolers are so fascinated by this thing we call "sexual reproduction" that they don't really question theories of evolution. Maybe I am lucky in that sense of not having to deal with this in my own classroom.
User avatar
Mr. P

1F - BRONZE CONTRIBUTOR
Has Plan to Save Books During Fire
Posts: 3826
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:16 am
19
Location: NJ
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 137 times
Gender:
United States of America

Re: "Science Myths" in K-6 grade textbooks

Unread post

I heard about those stickers..it really makes me ill...and angry...creationists would'nt like me when I am angry! In Georgia, my sister in law has to use the phrase "changes over time" in order to touch on evolution, which is a prohibited word!I just cannot come to grips that I have to share the planet with these extremist morons.Sorry...but I told you i makes me angry! Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
aquamarine05

Re: "Science Myths" in K-6 grade textbooks

Unread post

Yes, it makes me mad too! Such sensitivity to proven science! Over what? A fanatical assumption that absolutely nothing but God can bring about humans? I don't necessarily doubt God's existence, but to become so fanatical that it influences entire generations to believe basically anti-science is crazy!On a different note, I ordered the book for this quarter, so I am looking forward to recieving it so I can enter the book discussion. Hopefully, I will get it soon.
Niall001
Stupendously Brilliant
Posts: 706
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2003 4:00 am
20

Horse

Unread post

Who had this bloody sticker idea? I've seen Stephen Rose take similar steps. I can see a time when morally outraged groups sticker fiction they find offensive. I sometimes wonder if we've evolved a belief protection module which predisposes us to ignore all information which contradicts important beliefs. It really is shocking the how some individuals can develop a reasonable knowledge of all the evidence in support of evolution and still reject it.
Post Reply

Return to “Science & Technology”