The Most Fascinating and Fantastic Machine in Existence: Invisible in Education

What is this ‘machine’? Any guesses? Hang on to your hat. It’s not what you think.

The mechanization of the ‘human body’ sounds cold and calculated to me; which I am not. I don’t like referring to my body as a machine. Nor does my Tai Chi Master. However, much of the scientific world does:

“The human body is the most fascinating and fantastic machine in existence. No one understands all of its many mysteries; and no single source can do justice to its many parts.” –  Education World

How can this be true in the 21st Century?

This being said, why the heck can’t I find any Human Body System curriculum  in the ‘New Standards for a New Generation K-12 Science Education‘? I looked and looked to find reference to ‘Human Body System’ education in these Standards from the ‘National Science Standards’ and could find nothing. Why, when no one seems to understand all of its many mysteries; and no single source can do justice to its many parts, is there no Human Body System curriculum in the National Science Standards?  Why have we ignored our ancient scholars? They believed to ‘Know Thyself’ was important enough to carve the  message in stone over the mythical tomb of Apollo ! These ancient sages surmised that to ‘Know Thyself’ creates a rippling effect:

“Self-knowledge is all-encompassing. What is learned on one scale of experience can be applied to all scales. It is the highest form of knowledge, surpassing all other knowledge. Self-knowledge is also timeless, which means that what is gained in one era, benefits all subsequent generations.” 

A teacher friend said I could quote her ‘anonymously:

Learning about our bodies and how they work is one of the most important things we can learn in science class. I think I’ve learned more about it once I needed to understand how my body was malfunctioning (and that of my friends & family). There’s no standard that addresses “you are what you eat.” I wish I could create lessons about “stop eating processed foods because….” or “an acidic body, cancer, and you” or “there’s wheat flour and sugar in everything you eat” or “eat organic or else.” You get the jist, I’m sure. Our 7th graders have been studying the different systems in our body this semester, but it really is just an intro-level. I was lucky enough to be given a lot of control over the curriculum teaching in bush Alaska so during biology I emphasized (read-spent more time on) the human body systems.”

Her 7th grade class gets ‘just an ‘intro-level’ reference to the Human Body System! Ask your child how many joints are in her/his hand. Or, do you know? I didn’t until I took Tai Chi. Knowing so little about the human body, is there any wonder there is ever increasing suffering and disease in the world? What else can we expect when the Human Body System is invisible or just a footnote in our educational institutions! Oh, you say education about our bodies should be left up to the parents? Really? The majority of parents have not been educated about their bodies. Talking about ones body in my household was ‘Taboo’, and I suspect it was the same in most households.

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