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Zombie Common Core & STEM Science

August 13, 2013

FoxNews: “Zombie apocalypse? Students use ‘zombie science’ to learn about disease spread” by Amanda Woerner

Students around the country can now immerse themselves in “zombie pandemics” in order to learn about how diseases spread and affect the body. It’s all part of the new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Behind Hollywood Program, which teachers and students can download for free online to use at home or in the classroom. The series was created by Texas Instruments (TI) and The Science & Entertainment Exchange, a program of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and seeks to inspire student’s interest in math and science careers. The STEM program will include installments on everything from forensics to zombies and superheroes.

In NY1: “New Education Technology Hooks Zombie Fans On Math, Science” by Adam Balkin. And in CNBC: “Mom, my teacher is a zombie!“:

Even actress Mayim Bialik (from the hit shows “Blossom” and “Big Bang Theory”) has been bitten by the zombie epidemic.

(Statistically, it was only a matter of time.)

Mayim Bialik is Texas Instrument Brand Ambassador and in the video clip she says “zombies”, which has been subject of multiple “Big Bang Theory” debates.

With curriculum standards set nationally it will be more profitable for Hollywood-like companies to hire better actors and develop curriculum materials. Recall attorney Duncan Wiggetts makes high-budget corporate training videos. And recall the Kickstarter funded project to create a zombie curriculum for middle school geography standards.

The articles also refer to Harvard neuroscientist Dr. Steven Schlozman. One reason Schlozman might be getting so much press lately is because George Romero optioned his book, “The Zombie Autopsies” and is now shopping the script, see Daily Dead: “Exclusive: George A. Romero Completes The Zombie Autopsies Script:

“Actually, the day before I left to come here, I finished the script and talked to Schloz about it. He approved it, so we sent it to my agents and they sent it around. You never know what’s going to happen, but it’s out in circulation and I hope it works out.””

Is it going to teach neuroscience with Romero-zombies? Recall Oppression of the Neuroscientist and Pedagogy of Justin Bieber

Meanwhile in Oregon Catalyst: “Spotted Owls and Zombie Science” by Chana Cox:

Politicians often appeal to the authority of science or scientists, but they seldom question the scientific validity of the underlying scientific theories.

As it happens, however, people tend to have a great deal of ego, status, job security, and money invested in particular theories; and so, they refuse to let their theories die. Scientists simply may choose to be blind to any evidence which counters the theory. “Undead” falsified scientific theories become what I call “zombie science.” Once a falsified theory has been made impervious to evidence, it stops functioning as a scientific theory and becomes a myth. Nevertheless, advocates of the zombie theory continue to claim the theory as science, and politicians continue to appeal to the authority of those scientists and to force the rest of us into making further “investments” on the non-existent strength of the zombie theory.

In Oregon the environmentalists’ theory about the northern spotted owls provides a particularly clear example of zombie science run amok. … We are shooting owls to save the theory, and environmentalists are still pushing to stop logging in other forested areas. Politicians and environmentalists won’t save the spotted owl or the forests, but they very well may save their zombie theory and their own jobs―while continuing to kill our economy and our jobs.

And in Canada Free Press: “We the People” Vs. Insane Utopian Zombies (R Rated—Contains Sex and Profanity) by Jim ONeill about “Science, Scientism, and Pseudo-science”:

Clever propaganda and duplicity are zombie collectivism’s stock in trade.

the AGW bugaboo is merely a stalking horse for global collectivism—something for the zombies to rally around.

Liberals/Progressives will throw an instantaneous and vociferous hissy fit when anyone questions the validity of one of their “scientific” sacred cows. Try muttering “I’m not sure about this whole global warming thing” at the next “Kumbaya” sing-along you attend and you’ll see what I mean. What has so firmly shut the zombie mind to inquiry, curiosity, and honest exploration? …
Instead of aspiring to be collectivist zombies, we would be much better served by evolving spiritually, and there is no more important spiritual lodestone and aid than love.

Washington Journal on cspan this morning discussed Common Core and testing regimes with Catherine Gewertz of EdWeek. It doesn’t sound like there is a lot of love but it’s spread as fast as a zombie apocalypse.

Recall also ZombieLaw grammar – Professor Zwicky’s zombie rules of grammar and “Zombie Nouns” by Helen Sword’s zombie noun-nominalizations. And also plenty of ZombieLaw Drunk Math – Nate Silver was a witch for his statistical election predictions but large statistical data sets are more complicated than he makes them appear and we don’t trust them in Paul Krugman economics or Anthropocene Climate Science and we just keep getting more data….

With zombie fallacies all around, how do we know what literacy even means? Well, now with Common Core we look to a set of National Standards. But the assessments (the tests!) aye, there’s the rub. It’s not that tests are bad, it’s how the results are used to set up other policies effecting individual students and whole communities. Standards and assessment are laudable goals but focus on them makes zombies of us all.

See also Diane Ravitch Zombies — funny that the ed activists and the corporate proponents are both using zombies metaphors…

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