The NSF’s publicity stunt: 2026 Idea Machine.
- But I wouldn't expect many people submitting many ideas, not everyone is Albert Einstein, or Isaac Asimov, and most people would rather focus on one project anyway.
- Look, we aren't looking for the best ideas, we do it just for the publicity, so just do what I say, and move on.”
Science, as a human practice, has its own mission, which is making reliable predictions. Reliable predictions represent the pinnacle of sciences. All other activities are supposed to lead to that. That means (in part) that instead (or at least in addition to) the "research question" (which often just very trivial) NSF needs to require from grantees to state what reliable prediction(s) will be able to be done (as a hypothesis) based on the result of the proposed research.
People who do sciences - scientists - have their own mission, which is discovering and revealing the truth in a form which allows making reliable predictions.
This article is not a scientific paper, it does not allow making reliable predictions.
But it is a work of a scientist with the goal of revealing the truth.
Naturally, people may disagree with the content of this piece.
But if you, the reader, disagree, don't just say that.
Be a scientist.
Lay down you counter arguments in a logical manner.
I know I am not the "Knight Ridder", but I try to represent people who may have different logical interpretations to the events important to them.
And that is why I started this little project and wrote this paper.
1. Entry125253: High Frequency Data Streams in Education
2. Entry124656: objective measures of physics knowledge
3. Entry125317: National database teacher PD
4. Entry124655: role of NSF in funding education
10:18 AM (14 minutes ago)
All contestants (including individual entrants and all team members) must be at least 14 years of age on September 1, 2018, and be:
• U.S. citizens or permanent residents, or
• Residing legally in the U.S. on September 1, 2018.
Only one entry per individual or team is permitted.”
Education Advancement Professionals
"I hated physics before taking this course, and now after taking both 105 and 106 with Mr. V, I actually really enjoy it. He is one of the best teachers I've ever had. Thank you"
After the dotted line is the letter I sent on July 28, 2019 to 98 (!) members of various NSF committees in the field of education.
There are two possible outcomes from this action:
1. no reaction (including, “thank you, but …”).
2. someone would initiate a further communication.
The former outcome would mean one of the following:
1. NSF members have no curiosity. If you suspect that you may find a talent in your field, and you would be curious, you would initiate communication. That is what baseball scouts do (or at least used to, according to multiple movies) – they deliberately search for a talent in order to “exploit” it. I have a talent of being a good teacher; I taught thousands of students and train hundreds of school teachers, and I am good at what I do.
2. NSF members do not have deep understanding of the content of their job, hence they rely solely on the form/appearance (that can be deceiving) of an entity/object/document/proposal they encounter.
3. NSF members do not care about the content of their job, they merely function as clerks.
In a way, this letter is an experiment, a litmus test of sort. I will post an update in August.
To education advancement professionals.
Hello members of the NSF committees on education,
Every NSF proposal solicitation includes a statement, quote: “The program invites creative and innovative proposals that address the critical need”.
But the question is, how to assess how creative and innovative a proposal is?
Based on my personal experience, the #1 criterion that always has been and still used is – how does this proposal fit in the current body of a research. The proposal MUST have a broad and detailed description of what has been done already in the field, state clearly the place of the proposal, and MUST be supplied with extensive list of citations and references. The absence of this criterion AUTOMATICALLY disqualifies ANY proposal from consideration – even though the CONTENT of a proposal may indeed be “creative and innovative”.
I can state with the complete certainty that this approach is simply wrong for the proposals that goals is improving education.If you have no interest to participate in this discussion (although, a discussion on the disagreement used to be the main tool of a scientific progress), you can just ignore this letter.
Otherwise, I refer you to my publication on the matter: "How much of the NSF funded fundamental scientific educational research is really fundamental?"
There might be different reasons for reading (or not) someone else’s’ work; a question like “Does this person know what he writes about?” might help to make the decision.
I can assure you – I know very well my field – education – and I have a solid, well documented, publicized, and easily available proof of my professional success in the field (available on this link).
I have unorthodox (a.k.a. innovative) approaches to teaching math and physics, to teaching in general (including taxonomy), and to training school teachers – the fact of my professional success proves that my approaches are EFFECTIVE. At the minimum, I myself could have become a subject of an NSF study (that would demonstrate creativity of the NSF).
However, I also supplied the NSF with several (!) specific project descriptions.
Naturally, all of them have been rejected.
In fact, none of them even has been analyzed on the merits of its content.
For anyone who may find promising, or at least interesting, an actual unorthodox approach to improving education, this link leads to the bulk of my research on the matter, including five specific proposals.
With best regards,
Dr. Valentin Voroshilov
Boston University; Bridgewater State University, Wentworth Institute of Technology, ITT- Technical Institute.
P.S. This link leads to the full list of publications on education.
On July 28, 2019 I sent a letter to 98 (!) members of various NSF committees in the field of education. As of 90/11 I have no feedback, no single letter. No "thank you for you letter, we will consider it", or "Please, forward your inquire to ...", or there are many other formal reactions, but even those are absent. This proves that people who work in NSF have no curiosity, no thinking outside of a box, no real intention to find something really new, or even no ability to recognize it if they see it. All the efforts go into checking if the documents (grant applications) fit the format. No wonder education in such a poor state - despite enormous amount of money spent on grants. When there is no real intention to achieve a real improvement, there is no any intention to discover ideas that do not fit in an accepted format. But formative thinking is not thinking, it is just pretending to thinking. When all one needs to do is to follow a format thinking is simply not required. And that is why education research virtually doesn't exist. Education research is not an actual scientific research establishing strong correlations between well-defined parameters, but an exploration, similar to a geographer exploring a new territory and writing letters with the description of the discoveries he/she made (or a botanist or zoologist describing new species they found). However, NSF administrators pretend that this is not true and prefer just ignore anything that can shake their state of self-imposed ignorance. That's just easier.