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Topic: Re: Informal Science/Math Education
Replies: 2   Last Post: Aug 5, 2005 6:52 PM

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Richard Hake

Posts: 1,251
From: Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Registered: 12/4/04
Re: Informal Science/Math Education
Posted: Aug 5, 2005 1:34 PM
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Extending a PhysLrnR thread "Informal Science Education" of Feb/March
2003, I should like to return to the question "Should Physics
Education Researchers (PER's) concern themselves with Informal
Science Education (ISE)?"

In an earlier post [Hake (2003a)] I wrote [bracketed by lines
"HHHHHHH. . . ."; see that post for references other than Benezet
(1935/36), Urner (2003), and Hake (2004)]:

In my opinion ISE might:

(a) serve to dramatize the inadequacies of the U.S. educational system;

(b) help propagate innovative educational ideas such as those
discussed by Benezet (1935/36), Fawcett (1938), Arons (see Hake
2004), Lederman (2001), Urner (2003), Kamin (2003), and Allsopp

(c) provide test grounds for research on innovative physics-education
ideas, unfettered by constraints of the educational system.

For those unfamiliar with ISE, the February 2003 issue of the
"Journal of Research in Science Teaching"
<> is
devoted to ISE.

According to Stacy Miller's (2005) post on EvalTalk:

The latest issue of Harvard Family Research Project's "Evaluation Exchange"
periodical on evaluation introduces "complementary learning" -- the
idea that narrowing the achievement gap requires solid and sustained
investments in nonschool learning supports, such as early care and
education, families, after school programs, libraries, museums, and
other community-based supports. . . . Articles in this issue also
highlight promising approaches for evaluating complementary learning
practices and programs, both in terms of what outcomes to focus on
and what methodologies to use. The issue is available free of charge
on our website at <>. .
. . .You can also subscribe to receive future issues free of charge

Veteran science/math educator Jack Lochhead recently wrote to me:

"More recently Liping Ma (1999) did some research . . . . which
strongly supports the kind of direction Benezet took. The Every Child
Left Behind program makes it impossible to do any of this in public
schools but you can try it at home."

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
24245 Hatteras Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

". . . a new scientific truth . . .(or a new curriculum). . . does
not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the
light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new
generation grows up that is familiar with it."
Max Planck

Benezet, L.P. (1935, 1936). "The Teaching of Arithmetic I, II, III:
The Story of an Experiment." Journal of the National Education
Association 24(8): 241-244 (1935); 24(9): 301-303 (1935); 25(1): 7-8
(1936). The articles (a) were reprinted in the Humanistic Mathematics
Newsletter 6: 2-14 (May 1991); (b) are on the web along with other
Benezetia at the Benezet Centre
<>. See also
Mahajan & Hake (2000).

Hake, R.R. 2003a. "Informal Science Education," PhysLrnR post of 18
Feb 2003 21:09:04-0800; online at
The encyclopedic URL indicates that PhysLrnR is one of the few
discussion lists that denies archive access to non-subscribers.
However, it takes only a few minutes to subscribe by following the
simple directions at
<> / "Join or
leave the list (or change settings)" where "/" means "click on." If
you're busy, then subscribe using the "NOMAIL" option under
"Miscellaneous." Then, as a subscriber, you may access the archives
and/or post messages at any time, while receiving NO MAIL from the

Hake, R.R. 2003b. Re: Another Alien Curriculum, Math-Teach post of
Jan 15, 2003 3:44 PM; online at

Hake, R.R. 2004. "The Arons Advocated Method," submitted to the
"American Journal of Physics" on 24 April 2004; online as reference
31 at
<>, or download directly as a 144
kB pdf by clicking on

Ma, L. 1999. "Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics: Teachers'
Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics in China and the United
States (Lawrence Erlbaum). For a review of see R. Askey, in "American
Educator," Fall 1999; online as a 76 kB pdf at
"The U.S.
Department of Education has just announced the results of an exercise
to identify 'exemplary' and 'promising' texts. . . . The criteria
used by the Department of Education review should be rewritten now
that Liping Ma's book has provided us with a model of what school
mathematics should look like."

Mahajan, S. & R.R. Hake. 2000. "Is it time for a physics counterpart
of the Benezet/Berman math experiment of the 1930's? Physics
Education Research Conference 2000: Teacher Education
<>; online as ref. 6
at <> or download
directly by clicking on
(230kB). We suggest a K-12 science curriculum inspired by and
compatible with the virtually forgotten pioneering work of Benezet
(1935/36) [See the Benezet Centre

Miller, S. 2005. "New issue of 'The Evaluation Exchange' available on
'complementary learning', " EvalTalk post of 1 Aug 2005 10:47:01-0400;
online at

Urner, K. 2003. "An Alien Curriculum," Math-Teach post of 14 Jan 2003
23:47:08 -0800; evidently expunged from the Math-Teach archives
<>, but for a
comment on Urner's cogent post see Hake (2003b).

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