Eclipsing the eclipse
Posted March 10, 2016on:
You had to be deaf, blind, or asleep to not hear about the solar eclipse yesterday or to see it.
Singapore’s Prime Minister even asked the public via social media to share their best photos of the eclipse. Some did not disappoint, to humorous effect.
Many took the trouble and the precautions to observe this astronomical phenomenon. I wonder how much they learnt.
By this I do not simply mean an appreciation for celestial bodies or basic astronomy. I am referring to the thinking behind our collective understanding of the phenomenon.
For example, did anyone in the position to educate get learners to ponder questions like:
- What did we use to believe about such phenomena? Why?
- How do we enable safe viewings and why do these methods work?
- Why it is important to appreciate such opportunities?
Teachers might focus on the facts (learning about). Educators will also emphasise the thinking of a scientist or astronomer (learning-to-be).
Teachers might focus on such teachable moments. Educators will work on making such moments more common and how to turn them into learning ones.