Education: Your views - Science fiction

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The Independent Online
I must question Michael Thain's view of science education (Your Views, "Mad science," EDUCATION, 25 March)

To say that "anyone who knows anything about the matter" knows that scientific method is practically irrelevant to 16-year-olds is quite at odds with my findings and experience. My own science performance at a comprehensive school was poor, yet at 18 I was fortuitously introduced to the basics of science history and philosophy. The insight this gave me was immeasurable, but academically, it came too late.

Since then many eminent people in the field, including Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan, have argued and often shown that young students are up to appreciating scientific methodology. However, it needs to be seen as relevant to students' lives and careful imaginative effort is required .

It may well be that current ideas from ministers and educators are "half- baked", but I firmly believe that anyone who knows anything about science and creativity should not feel complacent or dismissive, but have a real urge to look at other available evidence in the field, and to give 16- year-olds more credit for their ability to learn.

RICHARD WARD

London SE13

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