Teaching Beauty


What do you think about when you teach science?

Do you think that you’re helping children understand the world, methodically and in a practical fashion, going through the families of plants and the different groups of animals? Is science a way of categorizing the world and helping it make sense?

Do you think that you’re helping children change the world, creating science experiments that may lead to solutions to global problems? Are your children going to create cures for diseases and reduce the pollution from vehicles?

Is science a way into the minds of the past and the great minds of the present? Do you teach history when you teach science, helping children understand that world changing scientific discoveries have all come from somewhere and someone?

These are all important reasons to teach science, and I’m sure that you can add others as well.
But I’d like to add another reason to teach science: to teach amazement and the appreciation of beauty.

When you think of science, you may think of people in white lab coats. You may think of long hours of hard work and academic discussion. You may not think of people looking on in awe. However, I assure you that that’s where my interest in science comes from.

Can science be a way of understanding the beauty of the world and exploring our amazement in the world? From the molecules of a plant to the mist that rises from the trees in the morning, nature is amazing, and scientists are people who are amazed by the world. This amazement makes a scientist curious. Why does the mist rise from the trees? Why are the molecules of a plant arranged in that way?

Beauty, inspiration, and curiousity go hand in hand. The next time you teach science, remember that it’s perfectly acceptable to gape in wonder. Many discoveries begin in just that way.

Image Credit: [lonniehb]

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