Great point Trev. I totally agree. Many teachers are pressured to “teach to the standardized test” to ensure their schools rank well. Schools that don’t rank well get their funding cut. Then teachers lose their jobs.
This naturally breeds a “rote memorization” mindset: the tendency to teach hard facts in preparation for standardized tests. Unfortunately, that mindset directly conflicts with the open-minded thrill of true scientific inquiry.
How do we get students excited about using their imagination and critical thinking to poke holes in — and even completely upend — existing knowledge? I wish I knew. But I think it’s an important topic to discuss openly in every household and school.
At the very least, I’d ask teachers to remember how important it is to contextualize their lessons within the history of science as a whole. For example, they can reiterate how accepted theories of one era are often later proven wrong, before launching into our best currently accepted theories of today… which, by the way, you’ll be tested on :)