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Re: [Phys-l] Was, reading PER literature

Thanks for the reading assignment. I'll put it on my list. Here's one for you to get a background on what the founding fathers knew and the problems that they were warning us against:
Anthony Everitt <Cicero> (Random House 2003)
There us a paperback edition.

On Mon, 11 Dec 2006, Bernard Cleyet wrote:

Fine, 'till the last paragraph.

It's called blaming the victim(s).

We didn't put them there; they put themselves there. Please read

And I suggest Zinn's, A People's History of the United States.'s_History_of_the_United_States


p.s. Does the info. and attitude of the following page shock you (all)?

"Columbus and his men were excited over the gold earrings some of the
Arawaks wore. This is what escalated the rapid, excited mad dash for
gold in the islands (they had to make money for Spanish investors). The
men took slaves and enforced mandatory mining ..."

[It's called capitalism.]

Rick Tarara wrote:

I would argue that science education HAS improved in this country. I had
only ONE science class in K-8. My college prep HS taught only two science
courses--Chemistry & Physics (but everyone took both).

Several things have happened in the last 100 years--the most critical is
that 'higher' education is now populated with many, many more students and
the median skill/intelligence/motivation level of those students is much
lower than 50 years ago. Trying to aim for this new center puts the top
third of these students at a real disadvantage. The same has happened in HS
and earlier education. When the social equality group jumped in and all but
eliminated any kind of track system, this has redirected our whole
educational system at the mediocre. Now while some systems have returned to
'gifted' programs, you'll often find those same programs have effectively
eliminated their special education programs by 'integrating' those students
into the 'normal' classrooms. Well in the case of the developmentally
disabled, that is a travesty--pulling down the general level in the
classrooms and leaving the disabled without the kinds of training and
programs from which they can really learn the daily living skills they will
need to operate independently. Students who can't subtract two digit
numbers in pre-algebra classes! ;-(

Now couple this with increased opportunities for the gifted students to
excel in many fields. How many potential scientists have been lured into
computer science? Remember these are smart kids who can see that getting
their first measly paychecks at age 27-30 is not the way ahead in this
society. Is there any wonder that we have so few American students in our

Concentrating on lecture as the root of all educational evil is to ignore
the multitude of social problems and educational philosophy problems that
have strongly contributed to our problems in science. the world of
research science, of industrial science, of government science really all
that bad off? Where is the evidence for that?

BTW: If, as Jack has stated, we have met the enemy and they are us, the
same can be said about Bernard's 'rulers'--they are the people WE have put
in place. We have no one to blame but ourselves.


Richard W. Tarara
Professor of Physics
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN
Free Physics Software
PC & Mac

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bernard Cleyet" <>
Subject: Re: [Phys-l] Was, reading PER literature

for starters.

"The paradox is this: as a lingering result of the golden age, we still
have the finest scientists in the world in the United States. But we also
have the worst science education in the industrialized world."

I assume the above is the quote. Did I disagree w/ it?

Of course teaching has changed. especially after about 1960. I have a
HS lab manual (Millikan ca. 1910). many of the xpts. and their format

Forum for Physics Educators

"Trust me. I have a lot of experience at this."
General Custer's unremembered message to his men,
just before leading them into the Little Big Horn Valley