Re: [asa] science education

From: Cameron Wybrow <>
Date: Fri Nov 20 2009 - 17:02:23 EST


It's always the case that each teacher sees his or her subject as very
important and wants the most time for it. We have that in Ontario, too.
But somehow, way back when, the sciences got themselves ensconced here in
their present position, and the other teachers, whether grudgingly or not,
accepted that. After English and Math, Science is top banana in the high
school curriculum, and the History, Geography, French, Music, Phys. Ed.,
etc. teachers just have to accept and work around that fact.

The other factor is how many semesters each of your science courses are, and
how many minutes per day a science class occupies. For example, if your
senior physics course is in both semesters, rather than one, it may cover as
much as our Grade 11 and 12 Physics, depending upon how many minutes per day
you have of class time and how many teaching days there are in your school
year. And ditto for your Chemistry and Biology courses. That would still
give Ontario schools a slight edge in total science time, because of the two
years of general science in our Grades 9 and 10, but the difference wouldn't
be as great. But even if the time spent on each science subject were
exactly the same in the two systems, I think there are pedagogical
advantages to spreading the learning over four years, so that all the
sciences are constantly before the student's mind. Otherwise you get the
familiar "out of sight, out of mind" phenomenon. If a student arrives at
university/college with physics fresh in mind, but chemistry two or three
years back, and biology four years back, that's not really a desirable
situation for a student who is going to major in chemistry, biology, or
biochemistry. You want the students coming in to their first-year chemistry
and biology courses with full intellectual momentum.


----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: "Alexanian, Moorad" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Friday, November 20, 2009 2:05 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] science education (was: YEC the default Christian

> Cameron, the main difference I see in what you seem to have in Ontario
> that that
> you just plain have & require MORE science. Which is great --what science
> teacher would object? If my students could get biology almost EVERY year
> physics almost every year, and chemistry and earth science, ... all
> almost
> every year, they would be much more scientifically literate as well.
> Problem is
> that English teachers, math teachers, history teachers (not to mention a
> host of
> worthy electives) all want their piece of time with the student. Maybe we
> just
> need to be in school a lot more down here below the 49th parallel.
> -Merv

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Received on Fri Nov 20 17:03:18 2009

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