Brian Faehndrich

K-12 Science Education Specialist, Westwood Regional School District
Demarest, NJ, United States

About Brian

Areas of Expertise

Biotechnology, Biology Education, Curriculum and Content Development, K-12 Science Education

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

112428
Brian Faehndrich
Posted over 3 years ago
is the most inportant thing in this word psychology?
Hi Debra, I agree with all you have said. My comment was more of a response to the topic question. Is psychology THE most important thing... my answer is no and in fact it is rivaled by equally (possibly (in the future) more) important discovery from other disciplines. No doubt study of human behavior is important, just the question is a bit over the top. Probably designed to spark just this type of discussion.
112428
Brian Faehndrich
Posted over 3 years ago
is the most inportant thing in this word psychology?
Recently psychology is being undermined by neurology. It is starting to appear that psychology has been a dogmatic field that tries to find answer in a scientific manner but has no scientific basis, only unprovable theory. Each time neurology discovers the neuron firing patterns that signify a disorder or deficiency it lays to rest another Freudian theory or complex emotional development scenario. I am not saying that bad childhood experiences don't lead to adult issues, I am sure they do, and I am also sure that psychology has been instrumental in helping countless people. But more and more it looks like understanding brain workings, patterns and chemistry are far better means to the same ends. This has lead to dramatic discoveries that may lead to changing the way a person thinks, breaking the mold that their brain has forged and rebooting their cognizance regardless of their past experiences. In that case, then understanding psychology becomes more of a preventative medicine and neurology the treatment.
112428
Brian Faehndrich
Posted over 3 years ago
How can a talented teenager prepare himself for a scientific career? What do you scientists recommend? (Personal experiences, please).
Hi Alon and Sigal, Sorry it took so long to respond. I meant chronologically... Physics is the basis of chemistry and biology is the chemistry of life. Learning biology before the others, as an example, would be like building a house and putting up the roof before pouring the foundation. In biology you would have no idea why DNA is double helix, or the important chemical interactions would have no context and it would seem more unbelievable, vague. Love your description of the school. As a teacher it is a little scary to let go of that much control, but in reality students are only going to learn what they want to anyway so let them discover why and what they need to learn. My motto... Education is not filling a bucket, it is lighting a fire.
112428
Brian Faehndrich
Posted over 3 years ago
What poems are most powerful to you?
Whoever you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams, I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands, Even now your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you, Your true soul and body appear before me, They stand forth out of affairs, out of commerce, shops, work, farms, clothes, the house, buying, selling, eating, drinking, suffering, dying. Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear, I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you. O I have been dilatory and dumb, I should have made my way straight to you long ago, I should have blabb'd nothing but you, I should have chanted nothing but you. I will leave all and come and make the hymns of you, None has understood you, but I understand you, None has done justice to you, you have not done justice to yourself, None but has found you imperfect, I only find no imperfection in you, None but would subordinate you, I only am he who will never consent to subordinate you, I only am he who places over you no master, owner, better, God, beyond what waits intrinsically in yourself. -Walt Whitman To You
112428
Brian Faehndrich
Posted over 3 years ago
How can a talented teenager prepare himself for a scientific career? What do you scientists recommend? (Personal experiences, please).
I am a teacher at a non-traditional public school that sees many self motivated students. I am also a curriculum writer for a new biology program that hopes to get international use (just added a school in Brazil). At 16 there is still plenty of time to explore all sorts of options like the ones mentioned in other postings, but ultimately a good science career depends on specialization. It is good that he is exploring and the school you describe sounds fantastic (would love to read more) because it will allow him to discover where he would like to focus. At some point he will have to decide on a college program. My most successful past students are the ones that decided early what direction they were going to take and specifically went after a certain college program. They wound up being part of research teams or working on cutting edge projects a couple of years into post secondary. In direct answer to your questions: Is this a critical period to learn things that will be difficult to learn later? Just get a strong traditional science knowledge base (physics, chem, bio, in that order please) so there is a good starting point to learn the more complex stuff later; Are there non-academic experiences he should try? Science is art, artistic expression and thinking expands his science ability, his ability to see more than one solution to a problem, his ability to ask unusual questions, keep up with the juggling! Good luck with your education Alon, sounds like you have a great start and a mom who's lookin out for you.