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Revision and Education

dfishervan's picture

As I am extremely interested in science education, I enjoyed our section’s discussion on education. While many of us noted our intention of gaining knowledge, none of us expressed the revision of our existing knowledge as an expectation of college. I must admit, as a premed student, I have been trained to take certain courses for the purpose of acquiring the information necessary for passing the Medical College Admissions Test. Although I did not anticipate revising my store of knowledge as I progressed through college, that does not mean that it hasn’t happened. In assessing my own education, the majority of instances where I was successfully challenged to reevaluate and modify my own understanding occurred in the discussion-based classes I have taken.

Of course, some of my more lecture-based science classes have compelled me to make these revisions however, I feel that in these courses, the revision process was not as organic. As the course number increased and the material became more complex, my science professors have told or expected me to realize that the information we were instructed to believe earlier on was a gross oversimplification and in most cases was not an accurate description. It may not be the best example (a phrase which Darwin seems to say a lot) but I find myself thinking of the shock one of my classmates had last semester in biochemistry when she found out that ATP is usually coupled with Mg. In introductory biology, we were instructed to think as ATP merely as a unit of energy. We did not have time to delve into its structure and net charge, it was not necessary to our understanding of the Krebs Cycle at that moment. Mind you, this is not an earth shattering revision that I have made to my initial storage of knowledge but, I think it sort of demonstrates the abruptness. Throughout our science education, we are told that much of what we learned earlier on is lies. If we were not told, but rather uncovered the falsehoods of our elementary science teachings, the knowledge revisions made in science education would seem more organic and I think less people would assume science to be objective and static.



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