Category Archives: Homeschooling

Settling Conflicts: Guns and Homeschooling

There was a time when I blogged regularly about homeschooling, though I have not done so in a long time. A while back I started to blog about gun ownership. I engaged in each of these topics for similar reasons. I have a political and professional interest in homeschooling (as a science educator) and a complex culinario-political interested in guns (as a political progressive who likes to eat wild animal but does not like people shooting each other). But the reason I blogged about these issues was more narrowly defined. I wanted to see if it was possible to achieve détente among people with dramatically different perspectives on a specific issue.
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The Manga Guide to Relativity


The The Manga Guide to Relativity might come in especially handy these days, what with faster than light neutrinos, Republican candidates and other science-defying entities zooming around. And, it is one of those Japanese anime things, which makes it cool. This is a story set in Tagai Academy summer’s school session, where the “plucky” Miss Uraga teaches the kids relativity.

When you have finished reading this book you will be able to calculate the effects of time dilation, explain the Twin Paradox, understand Einsteinium famous E=mc2 and get a job at CERN.

Hideo Nitta, is in the Department of Physics at Tokyo Gakugei University, and an expert in physics and physics education. Masafumi Yamamoto is an applied physicist from Hokkaido University, and I’m pretty sure Keita Takatsu is the artist. This is a little like Pokemon except only things that are possible happen in the book.

Courts allow University of California to reject credit for Creationist High School courses

A federal appellate court has ruled against a Christian school in Murrieta which had sued the University of California over its refusal to accept high school courses that rely on the Bible as the unerring source of truth.

Details here.

Next step: Homeschoolers!

(Hat tip: August Berkshire)

The Irony of Henry Adams: The most misunderstood quote evah!

I just received a mass emailing from Julia’s high school, in the name of the principal. Routine business. At the end of the missive was this quote:

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

What does this quote mean to you? If you don’t know its context, you may be in for a surprise.


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What is Wrong with the American System of Education?

Roughly half of the people in the United States reject one or more fundamental tenets of science (most commonly evolution), while a larger percent, perhaps more than 80 percent depending on how we measure, would fail a basic science test. A strong majority of those American citizens who would claim to have strong feelings about one or more science policy issues such as climate change, stem cell research, or nuclear power either know very little about the relevant science or are so badly informed regarding the science that their knowledge is not merely insufficient, but is actually opposite what is generally accepted by experts in the area. Most Americans would prefer to make science related decisions on the basis of political affiliations (while at the same time often claiming to not be affiliated with a particular party, and to be ‘independent’ ‘thinkers’) than on the basis of scientifically demonstrable realities. This is true even to the extent that it is possible to predict a person’s likely stance on a scientific issue on the basis of their politics than on the basis of their own economic self-interest or concern about personal or family health and safety. Hmmmm.
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An open letter to the Roseville School District

Dear Dr. Thein,

I am a parent of a child in the Roseville, MN School District. I am very concerned about news reports I’ve been hearing from elsewhere in Minnesota indicating that there are parents upset about The President of the United States addressing the students in some classrooms next week.

I am primarily concerned with the responses by the school districts to the parents. The responses I’ve heard have been rather appeasing to these parents. I do not think this is appropriate.

The parents in question are insane.

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