Monday, January 2, 2012

Science or Art?

Nothing has dimmed the line between art and science quite like the study of fractals. The study of this remarkable phenomenon has been around for many years but recent research in the application of fractal geometry to explaining the apparent randomness of the natural word  is changing everything. One of the most creative uses of fractals in in the field of prediction, from predicting natural disasters to nervous breakdowns.

Is it an art or a science? Today this is probably a false dichotomy even though we persist in using the terms in specific instances. Can politics really be a science as in political science or should it be political studies as one of my colleagues suggests? Thankfully, the new Environmental Studies major at St. Mike's was not called the Environmental Science major so that courses focussing on the more humanistic and philosophical aspects of this study could  be included in the major 

Many years ago I remember having rich and interesting discussions with fellow graduate students about whether teaching is a science or an art. Everyone, including me, always seemed to argue from a certain point of view or disposition based on what they had studied and experienced. I always firmly believed it was an art.  I don't recall any of us identifyng which componenets of teaching were scientfically or artistically defined.

There is now so much research available on how children learn that is scientifically derived that the art of teaching has to have a scientific component that informs our practice. The artistic creativity with which the best teachers approach their jobs probably has to include, in some way, the results of the best that is thought and said by their scientist colleagues.

Have a wonderful 2012.  

1 comment:

  1. Having both science and art in harmony will always portray the best results specially if it's presented in picture hangers