To the editor:
I am writing in regard to the sad state of science education in our schools. The recent article in the Journal-World (Nov. 26) has me worried for the students of today who will be our leaders of tomorrow. As noted scientist Carl Sagan once said: “We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.”
I mean no disrespect for our state’s fine teachers, as they are only able to do what the guidelines mandate; however, if we continue down the current road to scientific illiteracy and ignorance, our ability to think critically, analyze and solve societal problems (most of which will require a science-based approach), and remain competitive in the global marketplace will be severely compromised.
For we must remember that science is not just a list of facts to memorize; rather, it is a way of thinking in which knowledge is systematically acquired through observation, experience, testing, reasoning and rational thinking. It’s about asking questions and having the intellectual skills to discern accurate answers from rubbish. It’s teaching children how to think, not what to think. These are skills that pervade every aspect of our lives (at least they should), and to fail to impart these life skills to our youth will make them shallower and more close-minded, and the world will be all the poorer for it. I don’t know what can be done to reverse this scientific decline in Kansas, but I strongly urge those who can effect such changes to do so.