Another dot in the blogosphere?

Going deep?

Posted on: April 14, 2021

This news report defined deep tech as “a broad term describing the latest innovative technologies in fields such as biotechnology, computing and engineering”.

If I was still a biology educator, the tweet would add fuel to my fire for the subject. But I wonder if there is any substance to the premise.

The premise is the possibility that students will learn about genetic coding as a given. I pause with caution because I know that how it is substantively taught that will make the difference.

Specifically, will the science be represented as process and not just content to get through? How about the processes as ways of thinking and not just following formulae? 

The teaching and learning of deep tech should not just scratch the surface. For example, it is not enough to know how mRNA vaccines are made, or what the difference between vaccine efficacy and effectiveness is. 

It is also about attitude and belief system, i.e., a mindset. It is about mentoring and modelling. It is about a deep understanding of why science is not about proof and all about iteration.

We cannot run away from the fact the students need to learn science content. We also cannot forget how testing and high stakes exams tend to draw the focus away from deep science to surface knowledge.

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