Something that's been brought to my attention recently is the dire lack of quality in school science programs. By this, I mean public schools 6th through senior. I'm currently a junior at a decent school (as decent as you can get in an Arkansas town of 723 people... but others come from the neighboring city of 2200), and I took my first science class there in 6th grade. I didn't think much of it, but we never experimented with anything. It was truly no different than my English class, a format in which we are fed curricula and made to pass a test regarding only that curricula. 7th grade was better, as I had a more interesting teacher, but the core structure was still lacking, and virtually no different. This was the norm all the way up until this year's Advanced Chem. I've never been made to think or wonder about anything, and I've never performed an unstructured experiment. How is that science?
The thing that bothers me the most is that there is no discovery. Sure, the student might enjoy the concepts, but there has never been a moment that myself or any of my classmates reached an 'Aha!' moment. The answers are just given to us. That's not how science, real science, works. I'm sure a few scientists use this site, so I'm sure you know that curiosity is THE building block of discovery. It's the entire reason science exists. Without constructive use of students' imaginations, where is the actual learning of science?
I conducted my own survey of my graduating class, juniors this year, and I asked every one of my classmates what subject they enjoyed the most, and to give a brief description of why. I also asked them their least favorite class and why. My result? Zero percent said they enjoyed science the most, and most said they didn't enjoy the class on any level. Science related classes were revealed to be the second-most hated class behind Math, beating English, which took third place. I found this quite troubling, as one could imagine.
In my high school career, I can remember performing twelve experiments in our lab. That's over five years. Every single one came with a worksheet, and none of the questions asked us why we thought the result was what we found it to be. The only thing that came close was a line that read HYPOTHESIS: and a blank line we were made to fill. What do you think? Is that science? How could that be improved? Do you think it's a problem? And, of course, the age-old question of why. Please explain your sentiments logically, if possible. Thank you to all who endured this long post and decided to leave an answer.
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