Ainissa Ramirez: All Kids Have an Inner Scientist. We Must Nurture It

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“The 21st century requires a new kind of learner — not someone who can simply churn out answers by rote, as has been done in the past, but a student who can think expansively and solve problems resourcefully, ” writes science educator, Ainissa Ramirez.

As mentioned in the Ted blog, she proposes a new way to recast science education from being about memorizing facts, “a trivial pursuit,” to being about problem-solving and thinking for oneself. We need to move away from focusing on tests to showing kids that it’s ok to learn or to take risks. “Children need to explore and to discover. This is how you innovate; you fail your way to your answer. Scientists fail all the time; we just brand it differently. We call it ‘data.’”

 

AinissaRamirez_TEDBookRamirez has written a book where she affirms that the 21st century requires a new kind of learner — not someone who can simply churn out answers by rote, as has been done in the past, but a student who can think expansively and solve problems resourcefully. In order to solve the complex problems of tomorrow, the traditional academic skills of reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic must be replaced with creativity, curiosity, critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration skills — skills inherent in scientific research. In Save Our Science: How to Inspire a New Generation of Scientists, Yale professor Ainissa Ramirez makes an impassioned call for a recommitment to improve science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in our schools and throughout our society. She describes what habits we need to change to make STEM fun again, as well as a plan for how to increase every child’s participation in these disciplines. Ramirez notes: “The artist Pablo Picasso once said that all children are born artists and that the trick is to stay that way as an adult. I believe that all children have an inner scientist within them, and we need to get them in touch with their inner scientist again.”

 

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