Teaching Science - II

The book 'Science, Ethics ans Society' has questioned about the curriculum of Science in the chapter 'Science Education System'.The book is a collection of essays on Science by Prof.Sudhir Pandya and published by Gujarat Science Academy.

That chapter helped me to construct my vague ideas about the curriculum of Science, evoked by Feynman.
Let them be expressed in the words of  Prof Sudhir : Teaching of properties of matter, one should be taken to quarks and anti-matter. A great deal of advanced physics can be taught without mathematics, without details of basic   Physics. It will provide motivation and zest for mathematics, for more details later. Teaching of lights should lead to lasers, to how we learn about stars. Projectile teaching can profit from examples of satellite orbits, rocket power, orbits to distant planets and so on. While talking of conductivity, one should be told about superconductivity and the fantastic world of super-low temperatures. Limitations on the particle trajectories and wave motions imposed by quantum mechanics can be described at a very early stage, as also the incredible adventure of Mr. Tompkins in the relativistic world. All physics teachers can profit from Feynman course.

Feynman has echoed same thoughts in his speech : http://www.fotuva.org/feynman/what_is_science.html

Prof Pandya has suggested a new way for Science practices : I wish to plead to abolish many small routine mechanical experiments and give the students a few long experiments which will exercise his skills and provide him with a challenge. I believe that a student would profit more if asked to grind a lens or mirror himself then study its properties and defects-let him take several weeks to do this-rather than he perform many routine experiments in optics.(this example suits for higher education. but, at primary, project can be assigned that requires relatively long time observations, or making models.)

Much is talked n said about HOW to teach and still there is very little improvement. Over to Prof. Pandya with some edits : The class demonstration plays a very important role. They are most valuable tool in the hands of competent and innovative teachers to inspire and excite the fertile mind of the student. Today this art is almost dead. I would plead for a revival. No class room teaching is complete without a live demonstration.

Prof Pandya has coined an important issue regarding the quality of Education. He wrote :A major hurdle in Education is, in my opinion, that it has been too democratic. What I mean is that instead of raising our standards of excellence progressively, we have created to the needs of the lowest class of students. Our concern has been focussed towards these students who fail, rather than those who get first class and distinction. Examinations are arranged to pass the maximum number of students, the courses are arranges do that they can be taught easily in the minimum number of hours that the worst students in the class are willing to devote. . . To improve the quality of Education, we need to develop a system to identify and collect those with special gifts, those who have specific talent and excellence and then develop for them a special course.

(see seven natural wonders at .http://forum.globaltimes.cn/forum/showthread.php?t=5274)