Friday, 13 May 2016

I have written earlier about my problem with teaching polarization of an atom or ion in class IX of the state school syllabus, when electrons are considered to be small particles with negative charge.
This post about school science is another case in point.
There was an article by Joan Mills maybe 30 or 40 years ago when she had to undergo an IQ test to join school. There was a picture of a girl with medium sized hands and palms and three gloves, one very big, one very small and the third the same size as the girl's hand. The question asked "which glove belongs to Mary?"
The little Joan was very puzzled. Maybe the small glove actually belonged to Mary but had shrunk in the wash, or maybe Mary's mother bought her large gloves thinking she will grow into them. Another aspect she thinks about is that the right size glove may fit Mary, but maybe it belonged to her friend and she stole it or borrowed it. Then it would not be Mary's, though the right size. With all these doubts in her mind, she could not answer the question.
Exam questions are simplistic and most examiners do not appreciate out-of-the ordinary answers. So a child that over-thinks is as likely to fail the exam as a child that cannot think at all. 

When I was a child, festivals were fun. They were about good food, perhaps new clothes, some token praying (from the kids' point of vie...