Saturday, October 15, 2011

NPR: polar bear investigation resumes

Just a short comment:

The National Public Radio informs that Jeffrey Gleason, a collaborator of Charles Monnett, will be interviewed in the continuing investigation of scientific misconduct possibly surrounding papers about polar bears:
Polar Bear Researcher To Be Re-Interviewed By Feds
The investigators have asked or will ask about a fuzzy picture they took, photoshopping procedures that were made, and particular actions that were performed to hype the paper by Al Gore and the media.

While it's good that such things are sometimes being looked at with critical eyes, I still don't quite understand why this polar bear paper was picked out of thousands of shoddy would-be scientific reports that have flooded the Earth and environmental sciences in recent years.

The paper is clearly worthless but I still don't know what's the "smoking gun" that will allow to place the charlatans (including Al Gore) in the prison or on top of an electric chair.

Incidentally, this Prvouka (First Learning, a Protoscience: what's the English name for this subject?) for 2nd graders (7-8 years) is a Czech textbook published by Fraus in my hometown of Pilsen and it was chosen as the best European textbook at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Congratulations.


  1. Hi Lubos:
    My wife, an elementary school teacher, is not aware of a generic term for an elementary science textbook. You might call it My First Textbook of Science, Life Sciences, or whatever.

  2. Dear Michael, thanks for your answer! Your comment makes it pretty clear that this subject is not a part of the structure how children are taught outside Czechia.

    "Prvouka" (Prvo- means "first", "-uka" is a feminime noun related to "teaching") isn't really just about the first textbook. Both first-graders and second-graders - and maybe even third-graders?, not sure - are learning "Prvouka".

    It's "science" but it's elementary, post-kindergarten science to the extent that it's about the ordinary life, reading clocks, measuring distances or times and basic units, dividing things to animals and plants, some basic anatomy, like that there are organs inside animals, and maybe even some basic "economics", well, I forgot what's exactly there - it's been 30 years since I learned a Prvouka myself. :-))


  3. Oh, I was pretty sure that only 1st graders and 2nd graders learn "prvouka". 3rd and 4th graders learn "přírodověda" which is a single-word name for "natural science" (singular) but in this very form, it's being used (in the school context) for the 3rd and 4th graders only.

    However, now I downloaded some "instructions for instructors" and it says that "prvouka" is for 1st-3rd graders and "přírodověda" is 4-5. Strange. Maybe it has changed.

    Let me translate the whole curriculum haha.

    Prvouka 1st graders: I am a schoolkid, child and school, environment of school and home, home, caring of the living things, cycle of the year and seasons. That's the "general school". The "national school" has I am schoolkid, my family, seasons, animals and plants, orientation in time, we care about our health, I am a pedestrian.

  4. Prvouka, 2nd graders, general school: people around us, health and healthcare, occupations and jobs, transportation and travels, Nature around us. National school: I live among the people, our year, Nature around us, healthcare, technology and work of people, transportation/traffic education.

    Prvouka 3rd graders, general school: observation and description, world around us, pictures from our region, learning Nature, Man and Nature. National school: Place where I live, inanimate Nature, living Nature, plants, animals, man, protection of Nature and environment, traffic education.

  5. Nature science, 4th graders, general school: live on Earth, observing and learning about life in different biotopes, man's life and his environment. National school: Earth, conditions for life on Earth, animate Nature, Man, technology, ecology, measuring + weighing and units

    Oh, I missed the normal "elementary school" haha. It has similar topics as the previous two.

    5th graders Natural Science general school: Earth and Universe, planet of people, we learn the world. National school: Earth, inanimate Nature, animate nature, Man, technology, world of human labor, ecology. Elementary school: classification of organisms, Earth in the Universe, diversity of conditions for life on Earth, man and his conditions and linked to the environment.

    I am sure that this outline is much more environmentalism-oriented than what I learned 30 years ago.

  6. There is of course maths since grade 1 and later physics, and the life and Earth sciences become biology etc.

    The menu look trivial but the 77-page instruction for the teachers is scary. I don't know 99% of the content - mostly names of plants and animals, I wonder how I could have ever passed an elementary school, even with pure A's haha. I hated it! ;-) There's also a 7-page list of endangered species in the manual. I hope that the kids don't have to memorize those hundreds of two-word full names (Czech equivalents of the full Latin terminology).

    These things are combined with geography, different places, I guess that the kids are learning lots of unnecessary detailed data, anyway. If one imagines that all of those irrelevant things are currently presented with the environmentalist ideological bias, no surprise that after this decade of brainwashing, you get a population that is ready to believe things like global warming (even though in Czechia, almost nobody does because the teachers are fortunately slow enough in switching to "new needs of the European society" haha and if the teachers don't believe it, they can't make the kids believe it, either).