Last week I wrote several entries on the topic of global warming, and most recently on legislation at the Federal level related to global warming.
Is the Earth warming? According climate change scientists, the answer is yes, as shown in the graph below. However, making policy changes, as we have discussed here in this blog, is not simply going to happen because the data shows that we should.… Read more
Two days ago, Al Gore addressed the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. This is the Senate Committee where legislation could direct the US on a course to join the rest of the world in realizing the crisis that is represented by global warming. In January a bill was introduced into the committee dealing with global warming. Here are some specifics.… Read more
Yesterday I used the theme “Meeting of Minds”to focus on the US Congress and its hearing with Al Gore. Today, I would like to play this out one step further, and suggest how the members of the Congressional committees that are responsible for environmental issues and legislation might be informed by two great minds, each of whom received Presidential Awards for their contributions to government and society.… Read more
Years ago, Steve Allen, of TV fame, created a program entitled Meeting of the Minds. He would bring together historical figures such as Galileo, Thomas Jefferson, Shakespeare for discussions among themselves of important topics.
So here in Washington today we witness the meeting of the minds of Representatives and Senators in the U.S. Congress to hear from one of their former members on climate change and global warming.… Read more
Last week, The New York Times had a feature article on middle school teaching entitled, “For Teachers, Middle School Is Test of Wills.” The article featured a courageous and outstanding teacher, Corinne Kaufman, who teaches mathematics to middle school students at Seth Low, a large middle school in Bensonhurst, NY. The article also discussed the current dilemma facing middle school teacher preparation.… Read more
One of the major pedagogical strategies used in schools is the didactic approach in which the teacher delivers the content for the students to learn. Yet, didactic strategies have raised more questions than the benefits of this direct teaching model. Instead, over the past 20 years this old model of teaching has been replaced by cognitive theories of teaching and learning, and at the center of these pedagogies is constructivism.… Read more
This is a talk that Grant Lichtman presented at the TEDxDenverTeachers event, March 2013. Grant is author of The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. - Chief Operating Officer of the Francis Parker School. - Author of The Learning Pond, a blog which focuses on transformational schools and how they shape students' future. This brilliant talk is based on Grant's 89 day trip to 64 schools across the nation. What did he find out from these schools that will help us understand what great education is all about? For those of you who are progressives, and think John Dewey is relevant today, then you'll love this talk.
Bill Moyer Interviews David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz on Toxic Science
Science can be a battleground — witness the politics of climate change, the teaching of evolution, the uncharted terrain of genetic modification and stem cell research, among other contentious issues. But when industries release untested chemicals into our environment — putting profits before public health — our children are the first to suffer. Nowhere is this more troubling than in the ongoing story of lead poisoning. (Moyers & Company)
A few years ago Paul Crutzen, a Nobel Prize winner for work on the ozone layer, proposed a new name for the geological epoch based on the effects of human civilization on the earth. He proposed that the new epoch began in the early 1800 and should be named the Anthropocene Epoch. You can read a good pro/con on the proposal at Andrew Alden’s geology site.… Read more
For thousands of years, the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere remained around 275 parts per million, but as seen in the graph below, that value started to increase in the mid-19th century, and then steeply increased to the year 2000 and beyond. This increase has been attributed to the industrial revolution which started in Europe, and has spread about the world.… Read more
Yesterday I wrote about truth and global warming, and indicated that science does not result in truth, it results in hypotheses and theories, which could be used to inform legislation, and action by governments and citizens. Two days ago, the British government announced that it has proposed laws that will enforce steep cuts in carbon emissions. Across the North Sea, the European Union has proposed laws to limit carbon emissions as well.… Read more
Teaching Truth. That’s the problem when we discuss and debate the scientific topic of global warming. As Tim Flannery points out, science is about hypotheses (and I would add theories), not truth. One of the long term problems in science teaching is helping students understand the nature of scientific research, and how science develops theories to explain natural phenomena. Much of science teaching is didactic—even today, after more than 50 years of improved science education research and curriculum development.… Read more
Yesterday I wrote about a new column that will appear in the New York Times, Across the Universe, and the anticipation of some very interesting discoveries by astrophysics about stars and galaxies, and what’s out there. Then today, in the same newspaper comes a story (that had been released on NPR earlier in the month) that the oldest solar observatory in the Americas may have been found in Peru.… Read more