#Edbookchat with Author Sam Kean
This past Sunday marked the second of hopefully many more #edbookchats. Here's the #storifyarchive of the chat. Author Sam Kean joined us to discuss his two most recent books, The Disappearing Spoon, The Violinist's Thumb and his new book due out in the summer of 2014 The Tale of Dueling Neurosurgeons. What makes Sam's work great for the class room is the compelling narrative he connects together around the science. With the flair of the dramatic and plot twists that would be unbelievable if they happened in a movie, the stories of the Periodic Table and of DNA take on a new life. We see science as what it truly is. A pursuit for discovery. Questioning how and why things happen around us and that we can all practice and appreciate this beautiful world of curiosity.
There in lies the rub with the teaching and learning of "science". Sam's works expose the false starts and wrong turns that scientists took in the pursuit of discovery and how many of these misunderstandings were rather pervasive to the common person.
So it seems peculiar to me that we think of our modern times as infallible to the errors in science that past generations found themselves. While I have a set of core understandings about how and why the universe works, those understandings are on a spectrum of development. My understanding is constantly being refined by new perspectives, new ideas, new discoveries, and new insights. What creates eras and periods of time like "The Dark Ages" is when we become so insular in our thought that it is impenetrable when "new" is right outside our door.
The disconnect we sometimes find in communities about "science" is that somehow "science" has become a body of knowledge. Facts that are as steadfast as dogma. That is bad "science". The nimbleness of mind to see science as a verb instead of a noun is the goal of great instruction. That science is a way of interacting with the world. It's how we as humans learn the complexities of the mysteries that surround us from the very large to the infinitely minute. When we stop asking the questions, then we stop understanding. Great science instruction allows our children to not only ask great questions, but also empowers them with the tools to pursue the answers.