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Why is Science Education So Important?


EvonneDalton
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So most people will not take school science education much further, I mean not everyone will become a scientist or similar. And your question is not the same as why science is important.

 

To my mind the biggest reason for everyone to have some science education is so that they are a little savvy when it comes to pseudoscience and "magic" . We want a general public who are aware of what is and what is not science, so they can make informed judgements about the wild claims of others. In short, so they do not get duped.

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So most people will not take school science education much further, I mean not everyone will become a scientist or similar. And your question is not the same as why science is important.

 

To my mind the biggest reason for everyone to have some science education is so that they are a little savvy when it comes to pseudoscience and "magic" . We want a general public who are aware of what is and what is not science, so they can make informed judgements about the wild claims of others. In short, so they do not get duped.

 

Also politics, which is often fighting the politicians who have been duped by those pedaling pseudoscience or outright lies. I would include a basic understanding of statistics and probabilities in the science "tool chest" of what you need to have an informed opinion.

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Also politics, which is often fighting the politicians who have been duped by those pedaling pseudoscience or outright lies. I would include a basic understanding of statistics and probabilities in the science "tool chest" of what you need to have an informed opinion.

 

 

Yes, I agree with your statement.

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Why is any education important?

 

What makes you ponder specifically the importance of science education?

 

 

It is clear that some basic writing, reading and numeracy skills are essential in everyday life. No one here would question that. The question in relation to science education must be "unless I become a scientist, or similar, what good is knowing a little science?"

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Ah I see. Having been educated even with basic scientific knowledge, on things like the causes of heart disease, obesity etc. can equip people with the knowledge to live healthier lives. That too goes for the dangers of smoking, alcohol and so on.

 

It can make people aware of things such as global warming and pollution, the importance of recycling.

 

It eradicates all kinds of dangerous superstition, such as claims that mental illness is caused by demons, as opposed to treatable mental health problems. It keeps radical beliefs at a minimum... no longer is stoning people to death for 'choosing to be gay' or drowning people for 'being a witch' widely accepted by most people, because we've been educated out of superstition, thanks to science.

 

Just as a few examples.

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Why is any education important?

 

What makes you ponder specifically the importance of science education?

 

It may be because science education/literacy is often viewed as the lesser sibling of a liberal arts education. Many consider so-called intellectuals to be well-founded in the humanities and social sciences, but to join that club, the requirement for a science education is pretty weak. Some are even proud of their lack of science acumen. Hence the need to justify it. Few ask what good it is to learn to speak e.g. English, if that's the language of the land, and that training includes different types of literature. But the challenges to the system of the ilk "When will I ever use Shakespeare?" seem to be scant, while "When will I ever use science/math?" abound.

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Especially ridiculous seeing as maths is the most useful and all round usable tool in real life... but it's not seen that way by many people in schools because its importance isn't made clear enough. There's a whole topic about this in these forums and I agree with the view that it's being taught poorly, or at least it is in lowly achieving state schools. Science also seems to be viewed as the subject only for the high performing students, which obviously is not the case, anyone can do it.

 

I remember my economics teacher mocking the sciences and science teachers at my school, while exaggerating the complexity of his own subject which mainly consisted of drawing the same supply and demand diagrams every single lesson to explain the oversimplified and completely conflicting models of how an economy works.

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"Why is it important?" depends on the context of what it would be important to. If you ask "why is it important to just surviving?", in a traditional sense it's not too important, though it would still be important to learn specific patterns, but if you ask "why is it important to fitting into a modern scoeity?", it's because modern society arose from technology which was created by science, science fuels nearly every aspect of modern society except perhaps the artist and maybe political sides, but even with dealing with art, there's neurological explanations for how certain colors and artist depictions will make someone feel as well as all those pictures that seem to fool the eye, there's still specific patterns used in a specific style of art.

Although, even though science a lot of time wouldn't be directly useful to the survival of an individual, I doubt you'd be able to save Earth without some kind of science to deflect something like a meteor, so actually the survival of the species will probably depend on science at some point. Perhaps it already had because if we didn't have science there would have been some major infection that would have wiped out the human race.

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...

 

Just as a few examples.

These are good examples of the sort of things having some basic science knowledge helps. Not only in interpreting what is being said, but how it is being said and why.

 

Your later point about mathematics is also very valid. For some reason, here in the UK anyway, it is shameful not to be able to read or write, but to be mathematically illiterate is fine. It is even joked about.

 

For example, when people know I "do maths", they either chuck hard sums at me or say "I cannot do maths". Imagine at a party saying "I wrote a poem" and someone saying "I cannot read".

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For some reason, here in the UK anyway, it is shameful not to be able to read or write, but to be mathematically illiterate is fine. It is even joked about.

 

Very true. Also now that most people are on Facebook, it seems to be even more important to be able to use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation... so that you're not seen as being stupid- as if being literate in your own native language proves you're intelligent.

Edited by Iota
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For some reason, here in the UK anyway, it is shameful not to be able to read or write, but to be mathematically illiterate is fine. It is even joked about.For example, when people know I "do maths", they either chuck hard sums at me or say "I cannot do maths".

 

Yes, agreed, I can relate to that (being in the UK studying a Physics degree myself). It really does irritate me when I hear people say "I'm terrible at maths" followed by laughter (and most people tend to laugh and agree with them). When has it ever been acceptable to be illiterate? So why should it be acceptable to be innumerate?

 

Ugh, I could rant all day. Anyway, I guess part of it stems from the fact that people just think of maths as "doing big sums with lots of numbers" - hence the reaction which you stated of people chucking hard sums at you.

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Anyway, I guess part of it stems from the fact that people just think of maths as "doing big sums with lots of numbers" - hence the reaction which you stated of people chucking hard sums at you.

My wife who has no formal mathematics training past GCSE, is mush better at mental mathematics and hard sums than I am. She is in charge of the shopping and bills!
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Science education is not very important for most people.

It is perhaps not important to most people, but whether they know it or not it is actually very important for people, especially people with extreme medical conditions and for modern societal function.

Edited by SamBridge
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Science education is not very important for most people.

 

 

 

For you to say this you must have ignored all of the points made above or not understood them... or you have a very good counter argument?

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  • 3 weeks later...

For most of scientists its to get a career and for others its to discover the truth in what they are interested in.

 

Knowing too much science is just as bad as knowing less than the basics. Getting lost in the little details in never helpful.

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Science education is not very important for most people.

 

I think you have made a true statement and it is most unfortunte you got bad points for a true statement. For sure science is not percieved important to my Christian friends, who actually avoid science, because they are afraid of Satan! ohmy.png

 

May be if you had used the word "preceive" people here would have understood what said differently, and they would not have given you bad points. This is the problem we face, many people do not precieve science as important to their lives. Sadly, many schools have teachers teaching subjects they do not understand very well themselves. And I go crazy with home schoolers, who are great at teaching language arts, but terrible at teaching math and science, and they defend themselves as great teachers for their children. And have you checked out your local library? Libraries tend to about amusing people with literature, not spreading knowledge of math and science. There is much to say about this problem.

 

It is really sad when someone has something important to say, and it is judged so badly, because of the mind set of the judges.

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I think you have made a true statement and it is most unfortunte you got bad points for a true statement. For sure science is not percieved important to my Christian friends, who actually avoid science, because they are afraid of Satan! ohmy.png

 

May be if you had used the word "preceive" people here would have understood what said differently, and they would not have given you bad points.

 

That's just it, though. Not being perceived as important is not the same as not being important. You're right: if the statement had been different, people would have reacted differently to it.

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That's just it, though. Not being perceived as important is not the same as not being important. You're right: if the statement had been different, people would have reacted differently to it.

Is it all about the words we use or might it also be how others interpret what is said? By seeing "Science education is not very important for most people". meant from these people's point of view, science is not important to them, this discussion gains a ligitimate argument when it is asked why is science important? There is a ligimiate argument that it is not important, even though you do not agree with that point of view. I think there is value in establishing there are people who do not believe science is important, and even think it is harmful. It helps us understand our reality when we know there is more than one point of view. We can explore why some people do not think science is important, and why public libraries are seriously lacking when it comes to books about math and science, and why schools have math and science teachers that really do not value these subjects and can not inspire the children to like the subjects. Then we can take steps to correct this. This is really about having an open discussion that is inclusive of all points of view, and therefor expands our consciousness, or having a closed discussion, that excludes people and also entrophies our consciousness. It is also about what kind of people we are and want to be.

Edited by Athena
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Is it all about the words we use or might it also be how others interpret what is said?

Speaking only for myself, I cannot read minds. Thus, I can only go by what people actually post. I try to interpret as little as possible; when there is ambiguity I ask for clarification. In this case, others beat me to it. There has been none.

There is a ligimiate argument that it is not important, even though you do not agree with that point of view.

Then by all means, make the argument. That's preferable to an argument about semantics, IMO.
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Speaking only for myself, I cannot read minds. Thus, I can only go by what people actually post. I try to interpret as little as possible; when there is ambiguity I ask for clarification. In this case, others beat me to it. There has been none.Then by all means, make the argument. That's preferable to an argument about semantics, IMO.

 

It is not my argument that science is not important, and Esbo made a true statement, that does not require mind reading to know what he said. To find fault in what he said, you had to assume he was saying he personally doesn't find science important, and there why would assume this. In fact that isn't even a logical assumption, because why would someone who doesn't like science be here? What he said about most people is true. I will explain.

.

esbo, on 09 Feb 2013 - 18:35, said:snapback.png

Science education is not very important for most people.

 

Surely those who insist creationism in school, believe studying the bible is more important than studying science, and some of these people take their children out of public schools so their children are not corrupted with ideas that they believe are false and influence their children in a bad way. And if you check your library, you may find it has few books, if any, on math and science, indicating the people who run the library and most the people who use the library, are not interested in learning math and science. Esbo 's statement is just an observation. Math and science are not normal discussion subjects at parties, and trying to talk this stuff with most people doesn't go very well.

 

Even in my own family, my efforts to interest people in science are frustrating. Except for my 5 year old great grandson. He is too young to be thinking about girls, or to restrict his thinking to what he must know for his job. This kid is a delight. As soon as he enters my home he is wanting to do science experiments. Do you know if you put salt and pepper on a plate, than use wool to get static electricity on a plastic spoon, it will pick up the pepper? You can clean silver by putting it in a pan of boiling water (turn burner off before putting in silver), lined on the bottom with aluminum foil, and than dumping in baking soda. That is really fun because the baking soda foams. The kitchen is a great place for science! But in how many homes do you think someone is doing science with kids in the kitchen?

 

And math, We just do not commicate math as we do words, so of course children will learn to use words, but not math. When I realized this, I started making a point of saying as much about the shapes and numbers around as I can, just to prepare their brains for thinking math as naturally as we think words. But seriously in how many homes does this happen?

 

You have to admit, most people act as though math and science are not important. They might be glad someone else learns math and science and gives them good medicine and electronic devices, but they personally express no interest in either, and then expect their kids to do well in school. My father who was a NASA engineer, would say people do not like to think. They want to experience life, not study it. Personally, I think this is sad, but people think I am strange.

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