Saturday, August 25, 2012
The Doing of Big Things...Remembering Neil Armstrong (and Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, and a cast of thousands)
Voyager 2 passed its 35th year of operation...it is still sending data from 9 billion miles away with an onboard computer that is probably less powerful than one of those Commodore 64 models that I wrote my thesis on in 1985. Voyager 1 is also continuing to operate.
This is the heritage of a country that undertook an audacious program of exploration under the leadership of JFK, and which succeeded through the exploits of courageous men like Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. What do our children dream of today? Is our education system inspiring them to strive for incredible things, or is it teaching them to be unquestioning automatons in a factory or office? Are we teaching them to be curious about the world, or teaching them how to take a multiple-choice assessment test?
added a plank in their platform that says "We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills, critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority."? Is that what we have come to?
I refuse to believe that. I believe that adventure still awaits us as a people. As I start a new school year at an institution that is operating on 70% of the funding it had four years ago, I am as excited as I have ever been to have the opportunity to introduce my students to an incredible Universe. And almost every teacher I know feels the same way.
It is a sense of adventure that Neil Armstrong would have understood...