Download Scientists in the Classroom: The Cold War Reconstruction of by J. Rudolph PDF

By J. Rudolph

Throughout the Nineteen Fifties, major American scientists launched into an exceptional venture to remake highschool technological know-how schooling. Dissatisfaction with the 'soft' tuition curriculum of the time endorsed by way of the pro schooling institution, and quandary over the starting to be technological sophistication of the Soviet Union, led govt officers to motivate a handful of elite learn scientists, clean from their international conflict II successes, to revitalize the countries' technological know-how curricula. In Scientists within the school room , John L. Rudolph argues that the chilly conflict atmosphere, lengthy overlooked within the historical past of schooling literature, is important to knowing either the explanations for the general public popularity of clinical authority within the box of schooling and the character of the curriculum fabrics that have been ultimately produced. Drawing on a wealth of formerly untapped assets from executive and college information, Rudolph makes a speciality of the nationwide technological know-how Foundation-supported curriculum initiatives initiated in 1956. What the historic list finds, in line with Rudolph, is that those fabrics have been designed not only to enhance American technological know-how schooling, yet to develop the pro curiosity of the yankee clinical neighborhood within the postwar interval besides.

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In addition to the solace many found in the certainty of sectarian dogma, the strong identification of communism with atheism made religious participation a particularly visible way of demonstrating one’s patriotism. S. 30 Though the power of artificial fluoridation to prevent tooth decay was well established epidemiologically in the 1940s, local groups across the country angrily objected to government tampering with their water. The public outcry was loud enough to prompt a congressional investigation into the safety of fluoridation programs in 1952, which did little to alleviate public concern.

In his view, the disciplines “must be presented . . ” Such thinking certainly did not consist of the mere memorization of subject matter, the placing of facts into the “cold storage” of the mind for later use. This metaphor, repeatedly invoked by critics of the liberal arts, was particularly disagreeable to Bestor. They are not facts at all,” he explained. ”89 Each discipline is unique in the active methods of inquiry it employs in making sense of the world. Thus, problems of quantity and relationships are dealt with using mathematical intellectual tools, those of the past with historical techniques and reasoning patterns, and understanding matter requires the scientific inquiry inherent in the practice of physics and chemistry.

Here was an area of study that could claim access to objective truth about the natural world during a time when the truth about many things was ambiguous at best. Science was a subject untainted by the distortions and subversions to which the humanistic studies were susceptible. In a world of competing ideologies, science was seen by many as simply nonideological. At a surface level, science has always been identified in the public mind with objectivity, the disinterested pursuit of truth. Probing more deeply, however, reveals a much more complex picture regarding the public perception of science in the years after the war.

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