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Andrea G.'s picture

I'd like to pick up an idea

I'd like to pick up an idea that we touched on in class this week, and Natsu mentioned briefly in her post.  Most of us seemed to agree that changing attitudes about diversity would be a much more effective goal of education if it were a process that started early on.  While a lot of the conversation following this idea focused on more specialized, higher level classes not being conducive to promoting "mental diversity", and the benefit of reaching the greatest number of students, I think it's also important to recognize that it may be a lot easier to promote diversity at a younger age.  I'd argue that in elementary school, children are more open to new ideas, experiences, creative thinking than at any other age. 

I'd also like to respond to something else Natsu mentioned in her post.  As far as being taught to only solve a problem in one way, I think that while it may be the case in introductory classes, I've found that upper level science classes have all very much encouraged me to think about problems in various ways.  For example, in my Quantum Chemistry class tonight, we went through at least three different proofs of most of our homework problems.  All of us in the class come from different mathematical backgrounds, so we all think about our assignments differently, and there's never been any mention of the "right way" to do a problem.  I agree that it would be ideal to have a greater focus on the problem solving process itself instead of simply getting the right answer, but it seems our educational system is set up in a way that forces students to think homogeneously before we're allowed to branch out and think for ourselves.

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