Sunday, June 23, 2013

Higgs Boson Particle, part 1

"When you're six years old, everyone asks these questions, why is the sky blue? Why do things fall down? Why are some things hot and others cold? How does it all work?" We don't have to learn how to become interested in science -- children are natural scientists. That innate curiosity is beaten out of us by years of schooling and the pressures of real life. ....studies show that kids love science up until the ages of ten to fourteen years old.
~ Sean Carroll, The Particle at the End of the Universe, p. 13
This passage could also be applied to the arts. Children are not only natural scientists, they are natural artists and musicians, sculptors and storytellers. Their curiosity is part of their creativity; their creativity part of their curiosity. They are willing explorers of the world around them in every fashion possible. Their experiments cover the gamut of their world: eating, planting, poking, prodding, putting together and taking apart. That's how they learn.

Scientists, both theorists and experimenters, continue to feed their own and each others' curious explorations and notions. As do artists of every ilk. Our society puts more value on one than the other without noting the connection between the two. 

As for schooling, well, it's purpose is to prepare students to be productive members of society. Some students are encouraged to continue expanding their curiosity and/or their creativity. Others are guided in a different direction. In using the term "beaten out of us," Carroll makes it sound as though everyone would have naturally continued on that path. That's simply not true. Every culture of which we are aware was made up of diverse 'jobs' that its members had. Few seem to have been encouraged within the cultural milieu to pursue being healers or artists or storytellers. Not everyone could or would do the job equally well. That's what creates a full and rounded society.

No comments:

Post a Comment