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...

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sejintenej
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Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by sejintenej » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:09 pm

J.R. wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:41 am

I can also remember some pretty 'hairy' experiments in Uncle Kirby's lab out of school hours, but under Uncles very watchful eye !
JR: AFAIR that watchful eye was as you woke up in hospital ! (I can LOL even if you don't)

More seriously we were taught in advance how to handle problems in case they arose. As an example, when to boys were covered with 30N caustic soda** in the absence of a teacher we knew exactly what to do and we did it. That is a lesson I used when I was teaching and it saved a life.
** For non-scientists that is almost but not quite as dangerous as you can get - it destroyed the boys shirts and trousers in seconds
Son - “Dad - I want to get into organised crime when I grow up”

Father - “That’s nice son - Private or Government?”

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Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by bakunin » Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:22 pm

sejintenej wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:09 pm
J.R. wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:41 am

I can also remember some pretty 'hairy' experiments in Uncle Kirby's lab out of school hours, but under Uncles very watchful eye !
JR: AFAIR that watchful eye was as you woke up in hospital ! (I can LOL even if you don't)

More seriously we were taught in advance how to handle problems in case they arose. As an example, when to boys were covered with 30N caustic soda** in the absence of a teacher we knew exactly what to do and we did it. That is a lesson I used when I was teaching and it saved a life.
** For non-scientists that is almost but not quite as dangerous as you can get - it destroyed the boys shirts and trousers in seconds
What did you do in that situation?

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Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by bakunin » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:07 pm

LongGone wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:32 pm
As I have mentioned before, I am disappointed at how little news or recognition of the sciences is in any of the CH publications. After 80+ years I would have expected a new science complex to have been built: I believe the 'New' Science building is from the 30s.
I agree. There was probably a lot more enthusiasm about science in society in general in the 50s compare to the 90s when I went.

At 11 I was extremely enthusiastic about science and had done every experiment in my chemistry set and several of my own and thoroughly read and re-read the Osborne GCSE Chemistry Companion (or something like that). I could probably have done a chemistry GCSE in my third form with just a small amount of extra tuition, if any teacher had bothered to notice. A friend in my year (one of few I still am in contact with) was in a similar position. While potential athletic and musical talents were closely examined and encouraged, it would have been far more useful to focus on developing advanced science skills than on hobbies. At the end of our time in school, both of us were resentful of getting little recognition (we didn't get academic buttons despite better performance than many who did), perhaps because of our subversive publications and lack of school spirit.

At university I essentially ruined my possible future scientific career by focusing on drinking... I also became demoralised by my total failure to make any headway in research...

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Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by rockfreak » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:36 pm

Drinking is a thoroughly worthwhile academic discipline and there should be a PhD in it.

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Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by sejintenej » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:29 am

bakunin wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:22 pm
sejintenej wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:09 pm
J.R. wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:41 am

I can also remember some pretty 'hairy' experiments in Uncle Kirby's lab out of school hours, but under Uncles very watchful eye !
JR: AFAIR that watchful eye was as you woke up in hospital ! (I can LOL even if you don't)

More seriously we were taught in advance how to handle problems in case they arose. As an example, when to boys were covered with 30N caustic soda** in the absence of a teacher we knew exactly what to do and we did it. That is a lesson I used when I was teaching and it saved a life.
** For non-scientists that is almost but not quite as dangerous as you can get - it destroyed the boys shirts and trousers in seconds
What did you do in that situation?
Diluted the chemical with plenty of cold water - they were not wearing coats at the time.
Son - “Dad - I want to get into organised crime when I grow up”

Father - “That’s nice son - Private or Government?”

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Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by Katharine » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:13 am

bakunin wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:07 pm
While potential athletic and musical talents were closely examined and encouraged, it would have been far more useful to focus on developing advanced science skills than on hobbies. At the end of our time in school, both of us were resentful of getting little recognition (we didn't get academic buttons despite better performance than many who did), perhaps because of our subversive publications and lack of school spirit.
That was very true at Hertford too. I may have said it before, I left school with a place at Oxford for maths on a closed scholarship, a Queen's Guide and a DofE Gold Award holder yet was made to feel a failure as I was unmusical and not athletic.
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
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sejintenej
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Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by sejintenej » Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:40 pm

Katharine wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:13 am
That was very true at Hertford too. I may have said it before, I left school with a place at Oxford for maths on a closed scholarship, a Queen's Guide and a DofE Gold Award holder yet was made to feel a failure as I was unmusical and not athletic.
A direct parallel at Horsham. I had the Queens Scout Award and D of E Gold but was refused permission to accept an "invitation" to meet the Duke of Edinburgh at Buck House. I suspect that Peter Hildrew (who had the same) also got the thumbs down.
I got an invitation from Copenhagen to work with Danish students in an international endeavour for three weeks during term time - permission refused.
I got an invitation to work abroad with young British and Swedes (there might have been a Norwegian or three also) at the end of my CH years - leaving a few days early all the masters and many others thought I was being expelled.

Obviously intended to and succeeded in conveying the feeling that I was a total failure.
Son - “Dad - I want to get into organised crime when I grow up”

Father - “That’s nice son - Private or Government?”

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Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by wurzel » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:47 pm

my great grandfather was a lab assistant at CH in the 50's Laurie Sutherland - I have a picture of him in a lab somewhere, he used to also play cornet in a jazz/big band at the school

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Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by coliemore » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:52 pm

http://doras.dcu.ie/16978/1/julieanne_g ... 163553.pdf
I benefited from metallrgy/chemistry teaching via heuristics significantly - and became a copper research metallurgist building on research on heating/oxidizing copper in Kirby's lab in ~ 1954 also being well taught Maths by Rae/Bullard, Physics by Crosland/Grice (?) and Chemistry by Van Praagh/Matthews/Beavan. The question to address now is regarding Science Teaching in the 2020's and beyond - building on what might be viewed as a golden age of science teaching in the mid 20thC. We hope to address this in a BCOB project. CH could learn about creative STEMM teaching from Singapore and become truly world-leading in STEMM including entrepreneurship and engineering sui generis!

PROJECT SCOPE: “Christ’s Hospital 1552-2052”

The quest of the British Columbia Old Blues (BCOB) Christ’s Hospital 1552-2052 (“CH1552”) book project is to pose philosophical and pragmatic questions about the future of Christ's Hospital so that the principles and ethos of the boy-king in 1552 are enduringly in place at the great Quincentenary. This quest derives from the BCOB “Petition 1552” signed by over one thousand Old Blues globally and submitted to the Council of Almoners in 2016. The objective is a book incorporating the new poetry of Lizzie Ballagher coupled to other chapters on the ethos & charitable mission of Christ’s Hospital, posing philosophical, poetic, strategic and practical questions towards a comprehensive dialogue with the Christ’s Hospital community about the role of our well-beloved Hospital in the C21st. The overall purpose of the book is to enhance the global sui generis standing of Christ’s Hospital based on the ancient charitable mission’s undertaking to educate and care for poor and disadvantaged children. This book aims to be a follow-up to the Quatercentenary Christ’s Hospital Book gifted to all Blues in 1953. This book would be gifted to all Blues in 2020 by BCOB.

Proposed book content:
Introduction – 10 pages – David Taplin; Historical Reflections – 10 pages – David Arnold; The BCOB Story – 10 pages – Chris Johnson; Old Blues in North America – 10 pages – A N Other; Cameos – 20 pages – Desi Omojokun; A Heuristic Success Story – 10 pages – Christopher Bugge; Old Blue Scientists/C20th Science Teaching – 10 pages – Sinclair Wynchank; Broadcast Media – 10 pages – Terry Bate; New Poetry - 100 pages – Lizzie Ballagher; Epilogue – 10 pages – David Taplin & Desi Omojokun;

Timelines:
Finalize discussions with authors of Cameos – May 2019; Chapter Drafts – August 2019; Poetry Oeuvre completed – September 2019; Book published via GHP UK - May 2020.
David Taplin (CH 1950-1957), Lizzie Ballagher (CH 1961-1967), Desi Omojokun (CH 2004-2011) – “CH1552” Editors
January 19 2019, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by LongGone » Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:35 am

sejintenej wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:40 pm
Katharine wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:13 am
That was very true at Hertford too. I may have said it before, I left school with a place at Oxford for maths on a closed scholarship, a Queen's Guide and a DofE Gold Award holder yet was made to feel a failure as I was unmusical and not athletic.
A direct parallel at Horsham. I had the Queens Scout Award and D of E Gold but was refused permission to accept an "invitation" to meet the Duke of Edinburgh at Buck House. I suspect that Peter Hildrew (who had the same) also got the thumbs down.
I got an invitation from Copenhagen to work with Danish students in an international endeavour for three weeks during term time - permission refused.
I got an invitation to work abroad with young British and Swedes (there might have been a Norwegian or three also) at the end of my CH years - leaving a few days early all the masters and many others thought I was being expelled.

Obviously intended to and succeeded in conveying the feeling that I was a total failure.
Dick Fry was instrumental in getting me accepted to a 2 week Marine Biology class on Jersey, two years running. I have no doubt his support was a major factor in me ending up as a research scientist (though in Genetics)and conversations with him over the decades made it clear he would have liked to have seen a lot more similar opportunities for the students.
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Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by ZeroDeConduite » Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:21 am

coliemore wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:52 pm
...being well taught Chemistry by Van Praagh... The question to address now is regarding Science Teaching in the 2020's and beyond - building on what might be viewed as a golden age of science teaching in the mid 20thC.
Gordon Van Praagh summed up his experience in a book he wrote which was published by CH in 2003 called A Fire To Be Kindled - the Global Influence of Christ's Hospital on Science Education. It is a series of anecdotes about the 'golden age' you mention.
PrepA 1951-2 Peele A 1953-60

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Re: Science teaching in the 50's

Post by Avon » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:20 pm

ZeroDeConduite wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:21 am
coliemore wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:52 pm
...being well taught Chemistry by Van Praagh... The question to address now is regarding Science Teaching in the 2020's and beyond - building on what might be viewed as a golden age of science teaching in the mid 20thC.
Gordon Van Praagh summed up his experience in a book he wrote which was published by CH in 2003 called A Fire To Be Kindled - the Global Influence of Christ's Hospital on Science Education. It is a series of anecdotes about the 'golden age' you mention.
Hopefully he used ‘sui generis’ in every paragraph. That’s the mark of academia, that is.

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