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Author: Subject: Experimentalism and Boy Scouts of America Merit Badges
The WiZard is In
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[*] posted on 9-8-2011 at 02:02
Experimentalism and Boy Scouts of America Merit Badges


Science 29 July 2011:
Vol. 333 no. 6042 p. 500
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6042.500-d
Editors' Choice
Education

Gauging Merit in the Badge
Melissa McCartney

The Boy Scout merit badge program is an informal educational
experience allowing Scouts to explore a variety of subjects,
including science. Scouts can earn up to 23 science merit
badges. General requirements for science merit badges use
verbs such as show, demonstrate, make, list, discuss, collect,
identify, and label. Vick and Garvey use the revised Bloom's
taxonomy, a method for evaluating educational goals on the
basis of six levels of cognitive processes (remembering,
understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating)
to assess these requirements. Frequency counts of verbs; the
actions Scouts had to take; and elements, the number of times
that a Scout performed a certain skill, were used to evaluate
the level of cognitive processes required to earn a science merit
badge. Results showed that although these requirements
involved factual recall, personal understanding, and application
of the material, evaluation and creativity, considered to be
higher-level thinking skills, did not receive much emphasis.

Although familiarity with scientific terms is not an unacceptable
goal, providing only this in informal science experiences is a
missed opportunity, and Scouting and other informal education
programs will benefit from the addition of more requirements
that use evaluation and creation.


Int. J. Environ. Sci. Edu. 6, 173 (2011).


[Edited on 9-8-2011 by The WiZard is In]
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johansen
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[*] posted on 11-8-2011 at 18:37


They aren't substitutes for course work.

I don't agree with the generalization, there's only so much you can teach 15 year old kids these days. Its up to the adults involved to make it worthwhile.

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quicksilver
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[*] posted on 12-8-2011 at 07:11


Quote: Originally posted by johansen  

I don't agree with the generalization, there's only so much you can teach 15 year old kids these days. Its up to the adults involved to make it worthwhile.



Rhetorically speaking, are the 15 yr olds (or similar age) that much different at this time in history than say, 30-40 years back? And if so - in what way?




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gregxy
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[*] posted on 12-8-2011 at 09:09


Teens these days are exposed to huge amounts of information through the internet. If they are motivated they can accomplish a lot (particularly in internet related areas). On the down side there seems to be more need for "instant gratification". I remember reading a report about how hobby shops have been going out of business since kids don't want to spend the time on things like gluing together model planes.

The net result might be "polarization" with the smart motivated kids being smarter than they ever were but the dumb ones being dumber.

(I have teens so I can speak from some experience).
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