When I was at grammar school, I used to rank the subjects according to how ‘like maths‘ they were.
We were taught chemistry, physics and biology as separate subjects and, while I enjoyed all the sciences, I enjoyed physics the most because it was more mathematical. Chemistry had less maths and biology, at that level, hardly any at all. In my 11 year old mind, physics was pretty much just applied maths and therefore fun.
In geography, we covered such topics as map reading, how rocks are formed and weather but I never thought of it as science because science was something I enjoyed and I didn’t enjoy geography. Geography had a little bit of counting, measuring and charting but less maths than the sciences. History had no maths at all and I hated it.
At Dylan’s school, they have a single subject called science and they cover such topics as map reading, how rocks are formed and weather. Dylan hates it. In 7th grade he’ll do life science but he already knows he’ll hate it because he hates science. It’s like they want to avoid exposing kids to the hard sciences until it’s too late. Until they have formed an opinion one way or the other.
I have this theory that the people who design school curricula don’t really like science or maths but they know it’s important to the economy and that not enough people are following science careers. The remedy? Make the science in schools appealing to people who don’t like science!
I wonder if they stop to consider the effect it has on people who actually like science? If a kid likes science would making it less science-y make him like it more or less?
I know the answer for me and I know the answer for Dylan. Maths good. Science good. The more the better.