The professor holds a PhD in Astronomy He has wrtren several book is widety

The professor holds a phd in astronomy he has wrtren

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The professor holds a Ph.D. in Astronomy. He has wrtren several book, is widety pubtjshed in peerreviewedjournals. and has a natjonat repuranon in h,s Ireld. The coursr He overviews the scientific community.r discr^sion of the number or planers and states thai based on the criteria for \,!,hat constitutes a planel onty I ptanets arc oriicially recogni2ed in our solar system. One of the students raises hjs hand and insisrr thar rhere are a.aua y 9 planets because rhar iswhathe learnec, in schoot. Hehasseen many bo;ks wilh pictures of the ptanert and there are atways 9. He atso had a map of the rky n his bedroom as a .hitd and ir show€d 9 ptane$. Funhe, he say, his parents :aught hirn that rhere were 9 planets and many of his ftiends atso agrec rhar here are 9. The professor nies ro explain to the srudenr thar ro engage wth rhc ,anet .ontroversy one must first demonltrate undcrstanding of the crircrja lor what constitutes a planet, but he is aut off by the nudent who de(lares, "well lhat'syour opinion. My opinlon ls that there are nine." The professor tries once more to exprain that what he prescnts in rcgard lo the number of planets is not his own personal opinion, but the s.ienirfic (ommunitty's established .riteria For what dellnes a planct. Alrhough ar onc trmc the scientific .ommunity believed that Pluto qualined as a planer, wrh lurrhcr (udy they now understand that it doesn't in part due ro its shapc. Th.'rc drc nor opiniont the profersor repea6 but theories that have resultcd from onqomq rcsearch and study. The student replies, "l don'r care ir Pluro is rquarc. dHmon.i thaped, or shaped rikea banana, it's a planet ancl rhere are ninc plancts." Do you imagine that our b?oth€tical ashnomy student would bc sccn as credible by the rest ofth€ class? Would the.lass admire hi for standnu up to thc professor and expressing the same opinions they had? Evcn if his peers did shrre his opinion, would that make his argument credible? Or is it more likely that he would he seen as having some academi€ chalenges and as somewhat immature and even disrespecttul? Would it be assumed that he might have trouble passing the class? Principle I i You don't know what you doh't know: Strive for int€lle.tual humitity.It is unlikely that this siudent would be taken seriously for two k€y rea- sons, one related primarily io a.ademic preparation and the other related to the cours€ €ontent- Regarding academic preparation, students often eith€r dont do lhe reading at all and rely on the professor to simply t€ll them what they need to krow, or they complete the reading but do not understand what they hav€ r€ad. In our experience students who have trouble understanding what they read seldom rc'read, r€ad more slowly, use a dictionary to look up new words, or ask their pro l€ssors to explain dificult passages. Standardiz€d testinS and the reward system ot grades have created a cultur€ of learning that is more about conformity and getting the right answer and less about comprehension or taking intellectual risk.
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  • Spring '17
  • TomMcCollow

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