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This-essay is a7906021.htm which is available at the web-site See more notes at the bottom. Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay By-Months By-Years By-Words Webs of Like-&-Un-Like ESSAYS <==> Like-&-UN-Like This-One ========================================================== %CONCRETE OPERATIONAL SCIENCE RELEVANT EXPERIENCES+790602 %FORMAL THEORY LAW TEXT LAB PIAGET 790602 Many theoretically oriented science teachers are unaware of the need of their students for concrete operational experiences with actual physical objects. Such teachers are inclined to describe in a very sketchy way the nature of an experiment and the abstractions which follow from the observations---and then immediately move to a theoretical explanation of the result of the experiment. This often is done without benefit of experimental equipment. Not even the teacher does the experiment, much less do all students get direct concrete operational experience. Only those few students who have already reached a high level of formal operational thought---benefit from such theoretical science presentations. At best the concrete operational students learn to give some formal definitions of technical terms, to write down some equations, and to plug numerical values into such prescribed equations. Most students internalize a very distorted image of the scientists' visions, fantasies, and adventures. The traditional instruction process gives them an image of the scientists as a non- personal personal authority; i.e., a non-personal "human being" who is a source of authority. This image obscures the central role of experimentation as the ultimate authority in science, with due recognition to the roles of the scientists in perception, interpretation, selection, etc. Higher level science education will be relatively unsuccessful until there is greater emphasis upon concrete operational science relevant experiences in the earlier developmental stages of children---beginning in the womb and continuing through birth, infancy, and early childhood. Theoretical scientists need to have some concrete operational experiences which at a gut level convince them of the need for concrete operational science relevant experiences. Not even theoretical scientists are sufficiently mature to fully appreciate the need for such concrete operational experiences---if all they have to work with are theoretical statements and second-hand reports of others' experiences. Such theoreticians are still at the concrete operational stage of their understanding of the educational process, but are not mature enough to see their own stage of development with formal clarity. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in Search for Integrity and Honesty (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================
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