Reinventing Previous Work

Regarding your comments on scientists renaming their rediscoveries1: While scientists may be among the most guilty, they're certainly not the only ones doing this. In fact, this rediscovery behavior is currently being encouraged throughout the entire educational system, where the latest pedagogical fashion is constructivist learning. In science education, from preschool through college, it is now considered more correct to emphasize student-led "inquiry" than factual instruction on what's "alrea

Valerie Vaughan
May 28, 2000

Regarding your comments on scientists renaming their rediscoveries1: While scientists may be among the most guilty, they're certainly not the only ones doing this. In fact, this rediscovery behavior is currently being encouraged throughout the entire educational system, where the latest pedagogical fashion is constructivist learning. In science education, from preschool through college, it is now considered more correct to emphasize student-led "inquiry" than factual instruction on what's "already known." In my contact with students and adults in libraries, I have observed that this reinvention approach is contributing to the ignorance of past literature. (Why bother to "look it up" when you get credit for reinventing the wheel?) If you have any doubts about what I'm talking about, just look for the keyword "inquiry" in the literature of the National Science Education Standards, the various state curriculum frameworks, publications of the National Science Teachers Association, or Project 2061...

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