I’ve been an activist for science and education for 13 years. There are a lot of teachers and social activists in my family. Now we have the March for Science coming up in April. I see a lot of discussion about it online by people who look like they’re new to activism. I see a lot of debate about the meaning of scientific political neutrality. I also see a lot of people trying to adopt the March for Science into the Democratic Party or other political groups. So I’ve got a few things to say about this that I hope will help focus people’s efforts in constructive directions instead of the movement bogging down in a bunch of internal disagreement like activist movements so often do.
Education is the act of making the student’s mental model of the world more closely correspond to reality. The success of education is measured by the increase in the student’s ability to succeed at his or her goals.
These are not ideological statements. These are the basic definitions of education that every certified teacher in the US learns in the course of their certification training. (more…)