Thursday, September 22, 2011

Data Interpretation in the News: BPA

Here at Visionlearning, we are always looking for ways to provide our teachers and students real-life opportunities to put their knowledge to action. In scanning the news, this morning, we came across this interesting commentary on research recently released to the public on links between BPA and breast cancer.

This piece certainly conveys a strong opinion on the part of the author. But more than anything, it offers an excellent analysis of the misconceptions, misinterpretations, and bias that can occur in science. We will leave it up to you to decide if the study itself has merit. In the meantime, if you're looking for a great discussion for your classroom or community group, here you go!

Here are some links that might be useful (aside from the above article):

Let us know if you discuss BPA in your classes or community and what the results have been.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Steer away from controversy? Or grab it by the reigns?

In the August 5th issue of Science Magazine, Sara Reardon discusses the current state of teaching climate change in the K-12 classroom (see News Focus). It's an excellent discussion on the struggles science teachers face in this country, particularly in the wake of so many politicians denying its existence.  "Climate science," she says, has joined "evolution as an inviting target for those who accuse 'liberal' teachers of forcing their 'beliefs' upon a captive audience of impressionable children."

We'd love to hear your suggestions about how to handle this topic in any classroom (K-12 or otherwise). Do you avoid the controversy so as not to deal with parents and administrators? Or do you grab it by the reigns and teach what the controversy is really about? How do you, as a science teacher, deal with those in charge who have bought into the misconceptions surrounding climate change, believing politicians over scientists?

Share your thoughts here, or on our Facebook page.