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Santalum

Poor science education standards

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At the Bundoora Children Farm in Victoria Australia, a tour guide informed my daughter's grade 2 class that an emu had a backwards pointing knee.

 

Have science education standards sunk so low that people cannot even get rudimentary scientific facts right??????

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At the Bundoora Children Farm in Victoria Australia, a tour guide informed my daughter's grade 2 class that an emu had a backwards pointing knee.

 

What am I missing here?

post-54460-0-26493700-1328827345_thumb.jpg

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What am I missing here?

 

 

Are you kidding????

 

The backward pointing joint is a bird's ankle, not its knee. The 'lower leg' is in fact the bird's foot and is equivalent to the tarsal bones of our feet - a bird walks on its toes.

 

The knee and thigh of an emu, and most birds, is out of sight beneath its feathers.

 

If you squat down and raise your heels off the ground then you will understand how it is for the emu above.

 

 

 

 

 

If you had a good knowledge of evolution and the fossil record and understood that:

 

1) We, mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles are descended from a common fish ancestor.

 

2) Whose direct descendant may be the Coelacanth that has its bony struts at the base of its fins) and that was inherited by birds etc.

 

3) And that evolution has modified this anatomically identical bone structure to form a wide variety of limbs we see in the animal kingdom today and throughout the fossil record.

 

Surely you would then realise that any notion of a limb structure that is totally opposite this inherrited anatomy, i.e. a backward pointing knee, is just plain silly and that there must be some other more plausible explanation for the odd shape of an emu's leg.

Edited by Santalum

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Are you kidding????

 

The backward pointing joint is a bird's ankle, not its knee.

 

No, I never gave it any thought. The older I get, the less I know. It was just a few years ago, when I was about 54, that I learned that the moon doesn't orbit the earth in a single day. It's once every 28 days. Funny how we can miss things that we see almost every day.

 

But, I agree that the tour guide should've know about the ankle.

 

HA! Just googled emu's knee and found this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/74211461@N00/2232825936/

 

Someone (YOU, not me) should set the world straight on this.

Edited by Jiggerj

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Speaking of education standards:

 

 

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/budding-scientist/2012/02/01/u-s-state-science-standards-are-mediocre-to-awful/

 

A new report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute paints a grim picture of state science standards across the United States. But it also reveals some intriguing details about exactly what’s going wrong with the way many American students are learning science.

 

Science-Standards-Map-02.01.12.jpg

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At the Bundoora Children Farm in Victoria Australia, a tour guide informed my daughter's grade 2 class that an emu had a backwards pointing knee.

 

Have science education standards sunk so low that people cannot even get rudimentary scientific facts right??????

Well, considering my state is trying to get bronze age religion taught in science class, I'd say yes.

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What am I missing here?

What you are missing is that that thing that we call a "foot" varies quite a bit across species. There are three basic forms.

 

A ballerina walking on the very tips of her toes is analogous to how horses, cows, and antelopes move. Only the very tips of their toes of these unguligrade animals touch the ground. A horse's hooves: Those are the equivalent of our toenails. A person walking on tiptoes (but not the very tips of the toes) is analogous to how dogs, cats, and birds move. Those digitigrade animals stand on their digits. The equivalent of the ankle in both unguligrade and digitigrade animals is well off the ground. Some people see this as a backwards knee. It's not. Those animals have knees that are much higher up the leg.

 

Humans, opossums, bears, and raccoons are plantigrades. We walk with our heels on the ground. This stance a bit awkward and slow compared to the other two stances.

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For the sake of clarity:

 

F2.medium.gif

(From here)

 

 

That is an image of an ostrich leg rather than an emu, but the basic anatomy is the same. I think it makes a little more sense when you see the whole thing.

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Speaking of education standards:

 

Honestly, the only thing I vaguely remember from my school science classes is when one teacher dissected a fish.

 

Oh yeah, and catching my HS freshman science teacher sneaking a little alcoholic refreshment in the boy's room. I was smoking a cigarette in a stall. He looked at me and said, "I won't tell if you won't?" Of course I agreed. :D

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Education is less about remembering facts and more about learning how to think for yourself and discover them.

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Also, education is learning to become educatable.

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Things here in the UK are no better.

 

Take a look at this.

 

Encyclopaedia Britannica did a survey exposing many of the misconceptions people have.

 

Th Institute of Physics also mentions this via their magazine Physics World.

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Things here in the UK are no better.

 

Take a look at this.

 

Encyclopaedia Britannica did a survey exposing many of the misconceptions people have.

 

Th Institute of Physics also mentions this via their magazine Physics World.

 

"Only one in 20 people was aware that humans use all of their brain capacity,..." Scary, isn't it ?

 

What is scary is that what we often see here is allegedly 100% of the poster's capacity.

 

Now I understand the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. There just has to be intelligent life somewhere. I think I'll call my Labrador retriever.

Edited by DrRocket

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"Only one in 20 people was aware that humans use all of their brain capacity,..." Scary, isn't it ?

 

 

I don't personally know anyone aware of this, to the point where I've had to double-check to make sure we use 100%. When we have so many people claiming something that is incorrect it can put the truth in jeopardy.

 

I would've guessed it to be one in 50,000 (ballpark).

 

Even now I don't like talking about my shoulder injury because people will think I'm an idiot for calling it a torn rotator cuff (which is correct). Everyone I know calls it a rotator CUP.

 

Also, education is learning to become educatable.

 

THAT should be a class in and of itself. Telling kids that 'Reading is fundamental' is fine, but it doesn't teach them how to absorb as much as they possibly can from what they're reading.

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THAT should be a class in and of itself. Telling kids that 'Reading is fundamental' is fine, but it doesn't teach them how to absorb as much as they possibly can from what they're reading.

 

The primary ingredient is curiousity, and I doubt that curiousity can be taught.

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The primary ingredient is curiousity, and I doubt that curiousity can be taught.

Sure it can. Some teachers encourage curiosity. They like kids who ask those nasty questions. Even one such teacher can make a huge difference in a student's ultimate outcome.

 

Other teachers discourage curiosity, or rather, the education system as a whole discourages it. With the extreme focus on standardized tests, school administers encourage teachers to teach the test and nothing else lest they lose their jobs or lose funding. Teachers teach the test lest they lose their jobs. Anything that impedes students doing well on the standardized tests, and that anything includes fostering curiosity.

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The primary ingredient is curiousity, and I doubt that curiousity can be taught.

 

Don't know of many 13-year-olds that are all fired up over reading, writing, and arithmetic.

So, are they doomed, or can they still learn this stuff?

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Don't know of many 13-year-olds that are all fired up over reading, writing, and arithmetic.

So, are they doomed, or can they still learn this stuff?

 

That depends on what happens when they get to be 14. Most of them, like the majority of the population that produces the statistics that are the subject of this thread are doomed. But they are not sufficiently aware to know that they are doomed. Some will develop the necessary fire and curiousity and save themselves.

 

BTW I know and have known LOTS of 13-year-olds who are not only fired up or reading, writing and arithmetic, but actually quite a bit more aout those subjects than their teachers.

 

Sure it can. Some teachers encourage curiosity. They like kids who ask those nasty questions. Even one such teacher can make a huge difference in a student's ultimate outcome.

 

 

That undoubtedly does happen, but that is hardly "teaching curiosity", and requires that the necessary curiosity be self-generated in the minds of bright kids.

 

I know of not a single instance in which any teacher has actually taught curiosity. Encourage curiosity, yes. Teach curiosity, no. What I have seen are in cases where the natural curiosity of the student was in part satisfied by a teacher who could help the student to find the information necessary to satiate that curiosity. That is a very good thing to do, but it starts with the innate curiosity of the student. The result is someone who recognizes that once they have a question that interests them, it is possible, by investing sufficient intellectual capital, to gain some deeper understanding of, and possibly answer, that question.

 

There is no such thing as a sincere nasty question. There are unanswered questions. There are questions to which an answer is not known. But if the question is a sincere one, it is not nasty. The hardest and deepest questions are the most interesting, and are the foundations of research.

 

On the other hand there are questions designed to do nothing more than waste time, which are unanswerable because there is no sensible question involved. No one likes those questions. See any thread started by owl.

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At the Bundoora Children Farm in Victoria Australia, a tour guide informed my daughter's grade 2 class that an emu had a backwards pointing knee.

 

Have science education standards sunk so low that people cannot even get rudimentary scientific facts right??????

 

I'm not sure of and valid connection between an anecdote of a single tour guide and a trend in science education standards. I'm confident people make errors in countries with exceedingly high education standards.

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I'm confident people make errors in countries with exceedingly high education standards.

 

We have all made errors and have misconceptions. It is just part of being human.

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We have all made errors and have misconceptions. It is just part of being human.

 

I want to agree, but there are certain conditions where one shouldn't make mistakes. Imagine a lawyer not knowing a tiny piece of law that could get his client off; a doctor that thinks a stethoscope is a tongue depressor...

 

If a trained tour guide doesn't know the parts of an emu's anatomy, then what misinformation is giving to children about the other animals? He shouldn't be a tour guide.

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I want to agree, but there are certain conditions where one shouldn't make mistakes. Imagine a lawyer not knowing a tiny piece of law that could get his client off; a doctor that thinks a stethoscope is a tongue depressor...

 

If a trained tour guide doesn't know the parts of an emu's anatomy, then what misinformation is giving to children about the other animals? He shouldn't be a tour guide.

 

It depends on the misinformation. Am I giving misinformation when I say that kinetic energy is 1/2mv^2?

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I want to agree, but there are certain conditions where one shouldn't make mistakes. Imagine a lawyer not knowing a tiny piece of law that could get his client off; a doctor that thinks a stethoscope is a tongue depressor...

 

If a trained tour guide doesn't know the parts of an emu's anatomy, then what misinformation is giving to children about the other animals? He shouldn't be a tour guide.

 

 

Human fallibility is part of life we cannot understand our own incompetence simply because we don’t know why we don’t understand. Knowledge and understanding are entirely different.

 

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