There’s an interesting piece in New Scientist this week by perhaps an unlikely education policy commentator, Richard Hammond of Top Gear fame.
“It’s not a case of getting kids interested in science. You just have to find a way to avoid killing the passion for learning that they were born with. I think it’s no coincidence that kids start deserting science the moment it becomes formalised. Children naturally have a blurred approach to acquiring knowledge. They see learning about science or biology or cooking or how not to close a door on your feet as all part of the same act — it’s all learning. It’s only because of the practicalities of education that you have to start breaking down the curriculum into specialist subjects. You need to have a timetable, and you need to have specialist teachers who impart what they know. Thus once they enter the formalised medium of school, children begin to delineate subjects and erect boundaries that needn’t otherwise exist.”