Science teaching in the 50's

Share your memories and stories from your days at school, and find out the truth behind the rumours....Remember the teachers and pupils, tell us who you remember and why...

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
postwarblue
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 331
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 12:12 pm
Real Name: Robert Griffiths
Location: Havant

Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by postwarblue » Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:43 pm

I think Gandhi is chiefly to be remembered for (1) undermining the war effort by causing military resourecs toi be diverted from the fight against Japan and (2) his interference in post-war politics which may have made Partition unavoidable and so helped to cause the death of hundreds and thosuands of his fellow Indians. I do wish people would try and see through all the left-wing blah about cahracters like him and the terrorist Mandela (necklace, anyone?).

But this has not a lot to do with GvP's Heuristic Methods!
'Oh blest retirement, friend to life's decline'

sejintenej
Button Grecian
Posts: 3104
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:19 pm
Real Name: David Brown
Location: Essex

Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by sejintenej » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:34 pm

postwarblue wrote:I think Gandhi is chiefly to be remembered.............................................

But this has not a lot to do with GvP's Heuristic Methods!
As I understand it the Heuristic Method is to try it and see what happens. Certainly they didn't quite try that method

User avatar
LongGone
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 284
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:17 pm
Real Name: Mike Adams
Location: New England

Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by LongGone » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:02 pm

sejintenej wrote:
postwarblue wrote:I think Gandhi is chiefly to be remembered.............................................

But this has not a lot to do with GvP's Heuristic Methods!
As I understand it the Heuristic Method is to try it and see what happens. Certainly they didn't quite try that method
It's a bit more sophisticated than that. As in any research-based approach, the first step is to try an formulate an explanation, then create an experiment to test it. For 11-year olds this will require some (hopefully not too obvious) guidance from the teacher, but I do remember believing the ideas were our own.
If a stone falls on an egg: alas for the egg
If an egg falls on a stone: alas for the egg

Martin
LE (Little Erasmus)
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:11 am
Real Name: Bill Hurst

Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by Martin » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:34 pm

Sejintenej said that Mr Ronald Crosland “was brilliant and laid-back, or simply adequate”.

I have a recollection of RC from about 50 years ago which still impresses me. I was with a very bright practical partner and somehow the question of movements of a light spiral spring with a weight attached to its lower end arose. RC described the motion, after the weight was pulled down and then released, as simple harmonic motion (SHM). On being asked why, he produced the mathematical analysis. My partner then asked what the difference would be if the spring was not “light”. Without batting an eyelid RC redid the analysis, which was now much more complicated, and again showed us it was again SHM, but with very different properties. I think he did it from first principles, unless it was some sort of party trick he had up his sleeve (highly unlikely). So from Sejintenej’s alternatives, I incline towards” brilliant”.

michael scuffil
Button Grecian
Posts: 1377
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:53 pm
Real Name: michael scuffil
Location: germany

Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by michael scuffil » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:55 pm

While we're talking about Crosland, two things spring to mind. One is that he ran the Astronomical Society, and in that capacity managed to get Patrick Moore as a speaker. PM talked about the Moon in the loudest voice anyone had (or has) ever used in the Science Lecture Theatre. He might have been talking in Big School. He also produced an interesting slide, apparently of lunar craters, which he believed (wrongly, as he later admitted) were of volcanic origin. He then revealed that the slide was of the surface of his porridge boiling (hence volcanic, rather than meteoric).

But back to RC. His obituary in the Blue recalled that he also ran the Scout troop, and that no more unlikely combination could have been imagined.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

Martin
LE (Little Erasmus)
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:11 am
Real Name: Bill Hurst

Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by Martin » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:46 am

Oh the memories that result from this site!

More about Crosland. He also ran the CH Railway Society, mainly dealing with a model railway in a building next to the Manual Training School (now the Doyle School of Design) and on one memorable occasion arranged a visit to the Horsham Railway Complex. Can you imagine a small boy’s delight at riding next to the engine driver of a shunting (steam) engine in motion with a hand on the Regulator (i.e. throttle) – one of the most blissful moments during all my years of formal education.

At one meeting of the Astronomical Society, there was a convincing demonstration of another theory of the origin of the moon’s craters. Onto a tray of gray dust (I don’t remember what the dust was) a stone was dropped. It caused a crater, sometimes with a central small peak, as is seen occasionally on the moon. So if the moon’s surface was dust (its composition was unknown then) a falling solid meteorite could cause a crater.

Fitzsadou
3rd Former
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:06 pm
Real Name: Tom Barnes

Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by Fitzsadou » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:51 pm

I agree with point 2 from Michael Scuffil. It can lead to the question of why are the sciences taught at CH? From my own experience, I suggest it is to arouse interest in the sciences’ intellectual content, in terms of their internal logic (including relevant history of science) and their pertinence to everyday life and understanding of the world. Probably the following are not principal reasons for teaching these subjects at CH, though they are very important elsewhere: the need to pass exams and to train researchers (for which the heuristic method is ideal).

Could the moderator use his influence to have the staff’s qualifications included in the CH staff list at the website: http://www.christs-hospital.org.uk/home/staff/ Half a century ago this was done in the “Alphabetical List”, which even included names of the universities which awarded these degrees. A comparison with today’s situation could be of great interest.

User avatar
J.R.
Forum Moderator
Posts: 14816
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:53 pm
Real Name: John Rutley
Location: Dorking, Surrey

Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by J.R. » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:59 am

Fitzsadou wrote:I agree with point 2 from Michael Scuffil. It can lead to the question of why are the sciences taught at CH? From my own experience, I suggest it is to arouse interest in the sciences’ intellectual content, in terms of their internal logic (including relevant history of science) and their pertinence to everyday life and understanding of the world. Probably the following are not principal reasons for teaching these subjects at CH, though they are very important elsewhere: the need to pass exams and to train researchers (for which the heuristic method is ideal).

Could the moderator use his influence to have the staff’s qualifications included in the CH staff list at the website: http://www.christs-hospital.org.uk/home/staff/ Half a century ago this was done in the “Alphabetical List”, which even included names of the universities which awarded these degrees. A comparison with today’s situation could be of great interest.

Beyond my realms of capability, but perhaps Julian or John H could assist.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest