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Star Stryder

The Care and Starvation of Ignorance

5 Jul 2017, 20:35 UTC
The Care and Starvation of Ignorance
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To quote Randall Monroe: “Saying ‘what kind of an idiot doesn’t know about the Yellowstone supervolcano’ is so much more boring than telling someone about the Yellowstone supervolcano for the first time.”
In astronomy education, we spend a lot of time saying “what kind of idiot doesn’t know about lunar phases.” I think it’s time to ask ourselves why we get upset that people (especially kids!) don’t understand things we haven’t yet taught them, and how we can make it ok for people to say “I don’t know” instead of BSing bad answers.
I’m currently attending The International Symposium on Education in Astronomy and Astrobiology (#ise2a) in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Over the weekend, I attended the Psychology of Programming Interest Group (#ppig2017) meeting in Delft, the Netherlands. While the one meeting uses the modifier “Education” and the other uses the modifier “Psychology” they both had largely overlapping content, with talks addressing: barriers to learning; educational frameworks and progressions; and ways of determining expertise.
There were/are two major differences between these conferences.

The kinds of interdisciplinary engagement is not the same. At the computer science conference (N ~ 25) there was an amazing mixture of CS professors, industry programmers, neuroscientists, psychologists, ...

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