Double Helixes and Double Crosses (was: Favorite NON-fiction)

Wed Jan 29 10:30:01 PST 2003

Davis, Iain E. wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Andrew Lias [mailto:anrwlias at hotmail.com]
> > I have to disagree.  If I want to teach a 2nd grader about
> > farming, I'm going to tell them farmers plant their crops,
> > water and fertilize them, and harvest them.  I am not going
> > to go into the intracacies of crop rotation, pesticide use,
> > and the environmental impacts of farming.  Am
> I think it'd be worth-while to at least give a cursory nod
> towards these items.   I don't regard crop rotation as being that
> intricate, at least on the level that needs to be taught to a
> "layman".  Admittedly, there are limits in terms of the amount of
> time that a teacher can afford to spend on the topic "farming"
> before moving on to something else.

I remember hearing about crop rotation in connection with cotton and tobacco
farming, George Washington Carver (esp. peanuts - return nitrogen to the
soil), the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.  Possibly not 2nd grade, but
certainly not later than 3rd or 4th.  Growing up in the mid '70s, Ecology
was definitely a hot topic, so eviro impact of pesticides, erosion etc. were
part of our science curriculum.

It's funny.  I get the feeling that I was very lucky to go through school
when I did in the region I did ('75-'87, Bloomfield, CT, USA).  My
experiences in the public schools were much broader and integrative than
what I hear described by people older, younger or from different areas of
the country than I.  I have a draft that I started listing all the aspects
of why I thought that calling what I was taught about Chris C. in 1492 lies
was unfair, but it's too long.

I will say that I am excited about my daughter's opportunities in a
Montessori classroom, whereas I am a bit less so about the prospect of
sending her to some of the best public schools in the state.