London Atheist Activist Group (friendly community) Message Board 1. MAIN FORUM - (non-Islam) › Good news club indoctrinates children from 5-14yr olds

Good news club indoctrinates children from 5-14yr olds

Brian
roy23
London, GB
Post #: 64
Good news club indoctrinates children from 5-14yr olds

There is a talk for the first 30 min that shows how young children are incited in the U.S. to attend an after school club, fun, balloons and treats, in there school, they are told that they will be given sweets if they can get there friends to come along. Richard Dawkins then discusses various issues.
http://www.richarddaw...­

But this gives me an idea………..

I was thinking (as a teacher) that we need to get in there and let small children know how Cool science and rational thinking is. I normally teach secondary children 11-17, but fortuitously yesterday my agency asked me to take a year 6 class that’s 10-11 yr olds, and as luck would have it they asked me to teach about microbes.
(Well I am a fun guy)………
Well I always start a lesson with a new group with my view of science and how fantastic it is and we could not live without it. I ask them to imagine a world without the benefits of science, Hot and cold water, clean drinking water, central heating, cars, jets, phones, modern medicine (doubling our life span) the internet, synthetic materials, and last but not least, computer games, Ho yes I do go on a bit (and get quite excited using words like wonderful inspiring and funky), they usually quite enjoy it. I did not get round to “Do whales have knees?”

I think we need to get in young and infect there minds with good positive, joyful, logical,….what have the scientists, ever done for us! A al Monty Python.

I ask for your thoughts.
Georgi L.
Guffaw
London, GB
Post #: 1,643
Brian,

I hope you'll be pleased to hear that our August meetup is with the journalist behind this investigation into the 'good news club' - http://www.meetup.com...­

I've read her book, and it really, truly is SHOCKING. That adults should behave in such deceitful and underhand ways, actually lying to children and their families. Islam promotes lying to us "infidels" , but this book shows that the Xtian far right also say that any tactic is permissible and condoned. (Well, the religious in general lie about the religion itself in many if not most cases, since the adults don't really believe all the nonsense they tell their kids as they're growing up so I guess we shouldn't be surprised!)

We can waive it away and say, "well it's America", but let's not forget that creationism being taught in schools also started there and seems to be infecting us increasingly, too. I think it's the same reason - the "respect" given to religion as some special ideology that is only allowed to be revered, not questioned.

I think we need to get in young and infect there (Ginny edit: sp - THEIR ) minds with good positive, joyful, logical,….what have the scientists, ever done for us! A al Monty Python.

I ask for your thoughts.
Tsk tsk, I had to get my red pen out for the spelling biggrin, but extra points for the fun guy joke; I don't mind a bit of cheese now and again, LOL!

But seriously, I think your fun and passionate approach to science is THE best way to drive out religion. Much better if it's done like a vaccination, before children are fully brainwashed by religion. What a lot of suffering it will save! Once children appreciate science, very few I think will turn their backs on an evidence based approach to life in general. Yes there are scientists who are religious, but as Sam Harris points out in his book ' The moral landscape', when you look at who these scientists are funded by (authorities and business interests that want to keep religious people sweet), it often becomes apparent why that is the case!

Stephen Gates is another brilliant educator who uses fun and the 'ick' factor to make children laugh and be enthused, a bit like a cuddly loveable 'mad scientist' - I can imagine you being just like him in the classroom, LOL
LOVE IT!

Jason
SweynTUV
London, GB
Post #: 110

biggrin
Cloe
golfwang
London, GB
Post #: 13
Science and rational thinking can indeed be fun. We measured the speed of light using a microwave and marshmallows. We then got to eat the marshmallow goo after. This was more fun than our chapel visits.
Georgi L.
Guffaw
London, GB
Post #: 1,645
Grammar Nazi, LOL! Yes, and rich coming from me, after some of the gobbledegook I write! But Brian being a teacher, I couldn't resist the rd pen joke. Detention for me no doubt!

And you learned science from marshmallow goo, Cloe? ...hmmm, wonder where you had the shots hidden...
Brian
roy23
London, GB
Post #: 65
Thanks Jason
I started my teaching as a design and technology teacher, moved on to science, as kids today do not like to get there hands dirty. No longer playing with Meccano they have lost, creative, concentration, perseverance and manual-dexterity skills.
OK So you have found out my spelling is worse than my daughters was when she was 7. Now when teaching I say, I can fly an Aeroplane, Microlite, Hang-Glider, Paraglyder, Hot air Baloon, Climb, Dive, Drive an HGV and Motorcycle, repair almost anything, tceah Blogioy, Crmthiesy adn Piscyhs.
BTU I CNAT banana SLPEL. I do not see senplilg misatkes KO! smile

"Thanks Ginny

Once children appreciate science, very few I think will turn their backs on an evidence based approach to life in general.".......yes this is my point for my teaching...........

P.S. who is this Steven Gates? I cant find him (maybe using the wrong spelling!)
P.P.S I will be going into a school, to deliver the first ´Primary school´ version of my """SCIENCE IS AMAZING""" sessions...from my book entitled When Did Time Begin? I would show the group sometime if you think its appropriate and you can squeeze me in, takes say 20 min.

P.P.P.S I think there is some thing in the title "What have the scientists ever done for us?". (I think Adrian and I could work on this one?
Georgi L.
Guffaw
London, GB
Post #: 1,647

P.S. who is this Steven Gates? I cant find him (maybe using the wrong spelling!)
I spelt his name wrong - just as a deliberate mistake you understand biggrin - Stefan Gates is "the gastronaut" - here's his stuff He tends to do all kids of experiments with food and makes it fun.

P.P.S I will be going into a school, to deliver the first ´Primary school´ version of my """SCIENCE IS AMAZING""" sessions...from my book entitled When Did Time Begin? I would show the group sometime if you think its appropriate and you can squeeze me in, takes say 20 min.
How Fan-TAS-tic!! Well funny you should mention showing the book to the group because I had already mentioned the idea of an 'authors meetup', to some other LAAGers who have written various things. Let's do it! I'll come back to you with dates - will probably be next year as the slots this year are already booked. Can't wait to see it, well done!

P.P.P.S I think there is some thing in the title "What have the scientists ever done for us?". (I think Adrian and I could work on this one?
Not sure what you mean exactly, but it sounds nicely ironic, LOL. I suspect Adrian will be willing to get involved with whatever you have in mind.

Jason
SweynTUV
London, GB
Post #: 113
P.P.P.S I think there is some thing in the title "What have the scientists ever done for us?". (I think Adrian and I could work on this one?
Hey Brian, I used to bloody love design and and tech. There's nothing (well almost nothing) quite as satisfying as doing a really complicated isometric projection with pencils and a ruler. That dates me doesn't it.

Would love to see your "science it amazing" session some time. I have no problem switching my brain into primary-schoolchild mode when it comes to science. Science teaching at my schools was atrocious, so much so that it completely turned me off science for years, and I was the geeky kid with my own textbooks and enough chemicals at home to blow myself up several times over. Things are definitely on a upswing for science teaching, but clearly there is still a lot to be done:







CHERYL K.
user 9335524
London, GB
Post #: 506
This is a subject, or rather an attitude that is currently trotting alongside a lot of liberal fuzziness. This idea that science is a belief system and people are worshipping at the altar of science.

Also going hand in hand with anti-intellectualism. Say that amongst a group of intelligent liberal thinkers and you get heavily questioned about your imperious attitude. Implications are made that you are talking a bit above your station and making the average person feel stupid by implying that trying to think and analyse as clearly as possible is within their remit as a grown-up. And anyone can see you are a pretentious, high-falutin' bollock merchant. We're liberal socialists doncha' know. We're down with the salt of the earth types. Not into alienating them. And for the record, my lineage is northern socialism, grass roots. My grandmother once opened her living room up as a polling station.

Is my frustration showing?! So here's my 10 pence worth. Not only do I think teaching science to kids in a way that connects to their every day life is massively important, I also think adults need a refresher course. Not in any particular branch of theory, but actually demonstrating what science is. So Brian, how do we get through to people that science is not 'elitism', or an ivory tower for sinister characters concocting theories and mind controlling substances with which to contain the 'plebs'? Nor a secret government department where the cure for cancer is being kept from us because all scientists have massive vested interests in Big Pharma. Etc.

Science is ordinary everyday stuff. It's how we make nearly every practical decision in our lives (as Tim Minchin said "So I resist the urge to ask Storm
Whether knowledge is so loose-weave
Of a morning
When deciding whether to leave
Her apartment by the front door
Or a window on her second floor" - oh you all know it! LINK here)
And without it, perhaps a description of what our lives would look like might work.

And here's a new phrase I learnt yesterday - epistemological relativity! I was listening to a podcast by PETER BOGHOSSIAN. I tweeted that I was going to get that in a sentence today (yesterday). I managed it! Actually, I think he's someone to watch. I'm definitely interested in his 'Manual for Creating Atheists' out in November I think.

BTW, Ginny, I too am a grammar + spelling nazi! But right now I'm not sure I spelt 'grammar' right. Grammer? No, I just got red-lined by the spell check. It's embarrassing to get onto people and then go and step in it yourself!

Did I go off piste again?



Jason
SweynTUV
London, GB
Post #: 114
This is a subject, or rather an attitude that is currently trotting alongside a lot of liberal fuzziness. This idea that science is a belief system and people are worshipping at the altar of science.
Completely agree Cheryl. There are a lot of forces lined up on that side of the argument. A few that spring to mind:

liberal relativist - science is just one way of looking at the world, other ways are just different not better or worse
libertarian relativist - science may be right, but progress is illusory so freedom to be wrong trumps it, anyway it's a collective endeavour which we are generally not in favour of unless by a corporation
socialist-cynic - science is elitist and first and foremost a tool of capitalism
eco-cynic - science just screws up the environment so must be stopped
spiritual-cynic - there's a whole other world that science can't see, so it's basically useless
arts-cynic - science is all very clever but it's rather unsophisticated compared to what we do

There are many more subspecies I am sure.

I reason my way out of these traps to my own satisfaction by taking a hard-line on philosophical materialism, but it's not easy to persuade adult science-phobes to tread that path with me, let alone a class-room of primary school kids. Children do pick up these spurious anti-science arguments and I can imagine that it's hard for teachers to break through that, but if I had to pick three messages that would have inspired me at a young age:

1) there is a reality out there that exists independently of whatever anyone thinks about it. Science gives us the tools to understand it and change things for the better. Changing things when you don't understand how they work, doesn't work, so science is the foundation of everything else.

2) science is basically a very simple process: hypothesize, predict, experiment, analyse, explain etc. It's hard work but not difficult to do. We can do REAL proper science here in this classroom, not just endless titration for no obvious reason than padding out the lesson

3) the frontiers of science are not as far away as you think. There are folks at the LHC now in their early 20s. That could be you in just a few years time.

Hearing that might have made a difference to me at 13-14. As it was you could bail out of a one hour physics lesson at the 15 minute mark if someone could get our teacher onto the prophecies of Isiaih. Happy days.

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