Good instruction begins with breaking down the walls between the classroom and daily life. All science curriculum can be a means to teach the more fundamental critical thinking and problem solving skills that will aid students long after they leave the university. I hope to give students a new way of seeing their world and new tools to address community needs, then unleash them into the community for social good.
“Textbook teaching” tricks students into thinking that formulas solve problems, and that knowledge leads to solutions along a narrow path. Innovation is not an assembly line process where problems, like patients, can be diagnosed and treatments prescribed. Science is a process driven by ideas, debates, and questions where answers are only limited by one’s imagination. No one knows what the right answer will be until long after the “science” is done, which is where the textbooks tend to pick up the story. The scientific method controls the flood of radical ideas by providing people with a common language to contest their different views by comparing measurements. For without sound measurements, there can be no sound discussion; innovation is reduced to a series of accidental discoveries.
Teaching science well means creating debates in the classroom around local real-world problems from the community that cry out for solutions. It means debating ideas with evidence, by testing solutions, and in so doing, helping the community at large. Several videos that follow illustrate how we can rethink science teaching. The unit of learning is no longer based around concepts to remember, but processes and systems that yield results.
In short, I want to teach science that leads to innovation, not mere publication.
I’m available for hire! Courses I, Marc Maxson, can teach:
(General, Organic, Analytical, Biochemistry)
(Physical or Social sciences)
Science and Innovation for the 21st century.
Course outline for Science Methods for Social Prosperity
- The Scientific method
How to access everything that has ever been known
Behavioral economics and Game Theory
Complexity Theory and emergence
Social networks and feedback systems
Diffusion of Innovations
Refining ideas through Iterative learning
Student projects in the community
Next: Examples of inspiring teachers
Dan Meyer: Math class needs a makeover
Vi Hart: You can learn more Math in class by doodling than through listening to the teacher
Eric Berlow: How Complexity leads to simplicity
Neil Gershenfeld: How to build almost anything
Sugata Mitra shows how kids teach themselves
WBEZ: Is Design the Third Teacher in Schools?
Charles Leadbeater: Education innovation in the slums
Ken Robinson: Changing education paradigms for the 21st century
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