Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson aims to revolutionise the way science is taught in classrooms
In the United States, science education usually begins in grade school and continues all the way up to high school graduation.
Science is offered first as a generally inclusive course and eventually allows students to select a particular field to study: biology, chemistry, physics, environmental.
Although these classes teach students everything the basics of the science disciplines, there is a key facet Tyson feels is missing.
“One of the things that I think is missing in the educational pipeline in America is . . . a class on what science is, and how and why it works.”
Dr. Tyson feels this is an area of great concern, stating that without this important knowledge students may choose to perceive science as something that can be “chosen” to be believed rather than accepted as fact.
Ideally, a class based on Dr. Tyson’s approach would explain how science works as a whole, and the difference between objective facts as provided by science versus the difference in personal, subjective perception based on cultural and personal upbringing.
“We now have people where the facts of climate change conflict with their political worldview. Your cultural worldview is ‘I don’t want to lose my coal job,’ ‘I’m heavily invested in oil companies’,” Dr. Tyson explained.
Dr. Tyson aims for students of all ages to understand science as objective facts not influenced by politics or personal views
Such mysteries such as how the universe began and whether the world is flat or round have been overwhelmingly solved by science. However, people’s cultural and world views still provoke debates and confusion.
Dr. Tyson emphasises that the U.S. educational system must first explain the nature of science before delving into the specifics.
“Now, if we had all been trained to know what science is and how and why it works, none of them would say ‘I choose not to believe this.’ They would instead say ‘OK, I hear you, I just don’t care.’”