I’m not a teacher who likes to push curriculum. Usually if I’m too focused on what others tell me the students must learn, the less they seem to want to learn. Its a big argument to support restructuring modern educational models. I don’t have control over that but I do find students to be pretty interested in the concept of self-preservation.

I like to remind students that for no other reason they need to learn some things simply to protect themselves. The current global market crisis is an excellent case. Students need to understand how markets work, that there are no guarantees, the power of compound interest, the REAL cost of a home and never to let anyone else control their money. They tend to listen. They know people and companies are going broke.

I’d be interested in knowing what percentage of the current population had these basic principals taught to them.

There are many of these topics that everyone needs to be educated about. One difficulty is selecting the proper mix. Being a science teacher, I personally feel there are a few large concepts that should be required.

Evolution comes to mind. It can be easily linked to many important topics circulating today’s media. Obviously – due to their suggestion to teach the controversy – many current political nominees do not understand the nature of science or the scientific process. I find this astounding. There is no controversy in the scientific community. There is nothing to teach except what constitutes science from non-science. End of lecture.

It connects in another manner. How about the current upswing in anti-vaccination talk? How about extreme drug resistant tuberculosis? HIV?

Obvisouly we need to do better because a large portion of modern North American populations will ignore consensus within the expert scientific community. A large enough portion of the general population will listen to Jenny McCarthy rather than experts in the field [you should read this excelent review]. Thats disconcerting and puts everyone in danger. We need to do better.

General science education must have the plasticity to use current topics to interest students. How about the new TED focus on XDR-TB. A current pandemic. The science clearly identifies evolutionary principals in the spread of this deadly disease. It has clearly drifted and is being selected to have multiple drug resistances. If the general population hasn’t the scientific understanding of evolution than how do we combat its spread? How do we protect each other? The scientific advances of anti-bacterials, vaccines, and anti-virals have allowed some of the greatest reductions in human suffering. Understanding evolutionary principals and the scientific process permits us to continue the advances necessary to continue the battle.

>Help spread good science education. I encourage you to inform students of current topcis in an effort to convince them education is about personal, and community, protection.

I just needed to write a few thoughts down. Its been too long.

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