Neuron Culture

Tierney asks: Science or Garbage

A teacher in West Virginia rallied her students to fight to keep the right to recycle — presumably for the civic (and eco) learning experience. John Tierney argues she’s missing a better teaching opportunity:

If we want our children to be scientifically literate and get good jobs in the future, why are we spending precious hours in school teaching them to be garbage collectors?

That’s the question that occurred to me after reading about the second-graders in West Virginia who fought for the right to keep recycling trash even after it became so uneconomical that public officials tried to stop the program. As my colleague Kate Galbraith reports, their teacher was proud of them for all the time they spent campaigning to keep the recycling program alive.

My colleague Andy Revkin suggests that the West Virginia students might be learning something useful about the interplay of economics and ecology, but I fear they and their teacher have missed the lesson

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