Monday, September 13, 2010

Scientifically Speaking

I've been given the nudge to get onto other learning areas ("I'm working on our learning plans right now!!!"), so I thought I'd meander over to my favourite thing in the world - science.

I seriously adore science. And all kids adore science, too. Real science, that is. Not science that we've boxed up to look a certain way at a certain time.

Kids are born scientists. They get an idea. They check out their idea. The figure out if they need to adjust their idea. They see what happens. And so on. It's a process of examining cause and effect through trial and error. It's how we learn.

In fact, how children (how all of us) perceive our world changes with what we know. Our natural curiosity, attentive observation of our surroundings, and our drive to explain our lives makes us all scientists.

I had already spent years studying sciences and empirical psychology before I came across James Burke's The Day the Universe Changed series. As I sat in my education Science Methods class watching this film, my whole perception of science and why there is science and why it's important changed.

From wikipedia: "The series' primary focus is on the effect of advances in science and technology on western philosophy. The title comes from the philosophical idea that the universe essentially only exists as you perceive it through what you know; therefore, if you change your perception of the universe with new knowledge, you have essentially changed the universe itself. To illustrate this concept, James Burke tells the various stories of important scientific discoveries and technological advances and how they fundamentally altered how western civilization perceives the world. The series runs in roughly chronological order, from around the beginning of the Middle Ages to the present."



"You see what your knowledge tells you you're seeing."

I strongly recommend that you, as a parent, get your hands on this series and watch it. If you have any residual "ugh" in your gut about science from your days in school, this series will help you shift it. Your older kids (10 and up) might enjoy watching this with you.

And after you've finished watching James Burke in the 1980s, then find the Connections series (you can watch online) and enjoy his fashion sense from the 1970s. It's a fabulous series as well.



I'm so looking forward to sharing my favourite science resource finds with you - and I hope you'll reciprocate in the comments and share your favourites as well!

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