Sunday, February 23, 2014

American schools have failed: 1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says

How do school officials expect students to understand science when they barely understand that the earth is not flat?

Is the average American teacher subpar? Yes.

Obviously, the concept of the earth orbiting the sun is one that SHOULD BE taught with a living, moving demonstration with objects such as a basketball for Jupiter, a marble for the earth, etc.. The sun would ideally be eight feet in diameter, but balls that size are hard to come by. I myself used something smaller for the three-dimensional demonstration, and then I put up a bulletin board with part of a yellow butcher paper sun (with butcher paper flames). Also, the rotation of the earth on its axis should be taught by letting kids see (or, better yet, carry!) a globe that is turned slowly as it moves around the "sun" (which should be the biggest, roundest, most orange object the teacher can come up with).

What excuse is there for the legions of teachers who don't bother to make sure that their students understand these concepts? I am frequently appalled by the mental laziness of teachers.

As a teacher I was amazed at the percentage of my fellow teachers who would stand up in front of the class and recite a fact, and then think that their job was done regarding that fact.

Parents: most of your kids are receiving inadequate instruction in basic concepts. I urge you to support Common Core, and to hold teachers accountable for learning how to teach it. DON'T FALL FOR ALL THE WHINING THAT TEACHERS ARE DOING. They are college graduates. They should be able to figure out how to teach basic concepts.

See all posts re Common Core.
See all posts re lazy teachers.

1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says
by Scott Neumann
February 14, 2014

A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.

The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF in 2012 and released on Friday at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago.

To the question "Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth," 26 percent of those surveyed answered incorrectly.

In the same survey, just 39 percent answered correctly (true) that "The universe began with a huge explosion" and only 48 percent said "Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals."

Just over half understood that antibiotics are not effective against viruses.

As alarming as some of those deficits in science knowledge might appear, Americans fared better on several of the questions than similar, but older surveys of their Chinese and European counterparts.

Only 66 percent of people in a 2005 European Union poll answered the basic astronomy answer correctly. However, both China and the EU fared significantly better (66 percent and 70 percent, respectively) on the question about human evolution.

In a survey compiled by the National Opinion Research Center from various sources, Americans seemed to generally support science research and expressed the greatest interest in new medical discoveries and local school issues related to science. They were least interested in space exploration, agricultural developments and international and foreign policy issues related to science

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