I found this by way of a shallow, superficial, pop-science piece on the Guardian’s website. Very new Grauniad, this sort of gosh, wow butterfly-minded journalism. Depressing. I’ll not name the guilty link.
What an iteresting hypothesis this is, capable of wide application:
“The internet is cluttered with “educational” sites that have documents on “Fibonacci numbers in nature” and similar topics. A corresponedent(sic- typo) suggested a reason for this, which resonated with my own experience in the “ed-biz”. Perhaps this is the result of the current climate in education in which teachers are under great pressure to pander to student feelings and interests. Students continually ask for reasons for studying academic subjects, reasons that will convince students of the relevance of that subject to their own narrow interests and egocentric perspective. The idea of being interested in something for its own sake is a foreign concept to them. So some teachers go out of their way to “invent” relevance, even if it is a fragile and tenuous relevance. To show that some part of mathematics is relevant to nature, art, or the location of navels, serves that purpose. In doing this, some textbook writers and teachers often display their own shallowness of thought.”
”Reasons that will convince them of the relevance of that subject to their own narrow interests and egocentric perspective“
There you have it. The failure of playwork. Pandering to politicians.
Pandas have a very specialised diet, are antisocial to the point of violence towards prospective mates, and unsurprisingly are facing extinction in the wild, being kept going by the vexatious ministrations of Chinese zoo-keepers in league with their diplomats. Is there a lesson here?
We should stop trying to save the pander.