Jonathan Drori begins his TED talk by asking 4 questions to the audience that seem to have obvious answers, but are in fact not so obvious. Statistics showed that the 7 year olds did marginally better than adults at answering these 4 questions. According to Drori, this is because children base their answers on more on life experiences, rather than things learned in a classroom or a lecture hall. The light bulb questions mystified MIT graduates, but would have been easy for someone who played with batteries in their childhood.
Drori also showed how at a science exhibit children respond to interactive models that use everyday things they are used too, rather than high-tech professional things that they don’t understand. It’s all about their child experiences. Once they’re there, you can’t change them. People have mind models about how things in the world work, when sometimes those models don’t make sense together. Once those mind models are made, it’s hard to change them. Human brains do everything they can to prove their mind models. Drori also talks about poor teaching, and how it takes away from true understanding of science because of close-mindedness.
“It’s by fiddling with things that you complement your learning. ” According to Drori, the more experience you have, the better your understanding of science in life will be. In TOK, we have the ways of knowing. In this we have two ways that relate directly to this video: sense perception. Children use their sense perception to formulate mind models of how certain things work in the world. It is up to teachers to either affirm or correct us, but according to Drori, they must work with the ideas that children have to begin with, otherwise it’s like teaching nonsense to a child.
Teachers must be able to relate with the experiences of the child, because as Drori said, children are not empty vessels. They have firm ideas of how the world works. Adults use language and reason to learn about science through textbooks and teachers. Textbooks have good justification and are therefore accepted as truthful. But as Drori states, sometimes it is best to have physical interaction with science to learn it because it sometimes helps us understand some of the simple concepts that get lost to us during our education.
This video relates directly to the area of knowledge of natural sciences. Drori shows us how some preconceptions about natural science that seem to be logical, are in fact not true. Logic without proper justification is not right. According to Drori, hands-on physical activities with science can help give proper justification for sciences. Not only will we have logic, but sense perception as well to known what we know about natural sciences. This is like the child, who has no textbooks to teach him what is logical and what is not logical, and what is reasonable and what is not reasonable.
The MIT graduates were perplexed by the light bulb problem, because all their knowledge was learned through the language of textbooks and professors, whereas if the also learned through sense perception and reason, they might broaden their knowledge on science. This is what Drori is trying to say, that one must have a broad mind that is able to learn science through teachers, but can also question and object to these teachings through reason and sense perception. Some people might support the education system, and say that Drori is just using trick questions to show that people have been educated wrongly.
Those people would say that putting effort into changing teaching is useless because students already do well in school, and get degrees. They would say that Drori’s examples are anomalies in science that people don’t usually know because they are trick questions to make people look uneducated, just to support their education system. In my opinion though, Drori has a good point, especially in the fact that students believe everything their teachers and textbooks teach, whereas logic might go against that.
That is why, in my opinion, science teachers who do more labs are better science teachers, because it gives students hands on experience to actually test out scientific theories. In my physics class, we do labs once a week, which I find extremely useful even if the labs are small, because the logic of our sense perception connects with the language of our teachers and textbooks. Whereas in chemistry, where we have only done 2 labs, I find it harder to conceptualize real life implementations of chemistry. Let’s put it the other way around. Sometimes, we know something to be logical, but we don’t know why.
In my opinion, the subject of Business that I take is a very good example of this. I know, for example, if demand for a product increases, then the price will go down. But the reasoning behind this logic was unknown to me until I actually studied the course of Business. In conclusion, this TED talk presents to the general public that the mind models they have because of science education might not be correct, and are contradictory to what actually happens in the real world. This can be helped by interacting and exploring science hands-on, and will help broaden our knowledge of science.