Big Issues

Here are some issues I think we should think more about.

How do we integrate global warming and sustainability into our curricula? Wherever a student works this will be relevant, and to be an effective democratic citizen students must understand this topic. Even if you think climate science is flawed, because you know more about the climate than those who have spent their life studying it, then you must admit the possibility that you might be wrong and that the planet might suffer climate changes that are catestrophic. Even if there were a 10% chance of a plane crashing you would not ride in it. What risk would you accept for the planet crashing? If you read the literature this could happen in the lifetimes of those you teach. For example Mark Lynas ‘Six degrees’. As educators we have responsibilities.

Do our teacher training curricula spend sufficient time on teaching methods, techniques and strategies? Certain teaching strategies, as described in Evidence Based Teaching, can double the rate that students learn. Repeated rigorous experiments have shown these methods work in many contexts. Why don’t we teach our teachers about these?