Science Department Philosophy
"Thoughts without concepts are empty; intuitions without concepts are blind."
- Immanuel Kant (1781)
"Logic...remains barren unless it is fertilized by intuition."
- Henri Poincare (1908)
Since the earliest human beings gazed at the stars and pondered their own existence, science has evolved to help humanity achieve great heights in learning and living. From the pyramids in Egypt to the ancient cities of the Maya, society has agreed that the education of its children must include an understanding and appreciation of how the world around them operates. This marriage between science and society has led to the development of ideas and technology that has enabled us, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, to become healthier, and more interdependent on an ever-shrinking planet than at any other time in recorded history.
The science department accepts this challenge. We believe that mastery of knowledge is not simply absorbed. In the words of Plutarch, "the mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be lighted!" We believe that knowledge is actively constructed in students who brings a wealth of prior knowledge and experience to a science classroom. This "constructivist" view of learning recognizes the active role that problem-solving plays in inquiry. It requires that teachers accept students' unique learning styles as well as their right to learn in an environment appropriate for their level of knowledge and skill.
In a world dominated by computers and information systems, we reaffirm the traditional belief that students learn through the use of rational thinking, critical analysis, and hands-on laboratory experience. Organizational thinking cannot be replaced by programmed lessons and passive access to an almost infinite supply of information.
In this spirit, the Science Department has established the following principles as a guide toward achieving these daily and long term goals. We are professionals dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, the achievement of educational techniques, of alternative assessments, and the development of our children into adults who will understand and appreciate both the world and the environment in which they live.
Specific Philosophical GoalsI. Primary Process Goals of Science Teaching
- Albert Einstein (1936)
Last Modified on June 22, 2009