Jack-Horner-Photo-MSU-Kelly-Gorham[1]“I survived the stigma of my shortcomings by living an imaginative life as a dinosaur hunter, both in the Cretaceous, and in my back yard. Based on the fossils I discovered near my hometown I recreated miniature ecosystems using weeds for trees, and a long ditch for the inland sea. To this day I still walk through the Cretaceous formations envisioning the scenes as if I were there millions of years ago….

Do you have any insights concerning education in America? I think we can all agree that it doesn’t work well, but I do think it falls on the shoulders of all us college and university professors who profess to teach teachers. If we expect kids to know about evolution, for example, we need to be teaching the teachers about evolution. And, its not enough to hope that the teachers in training will seek us out, we instead need to be seeking them out, and work with them until we know they understand the scientific process, and how inductive reasoning works, and why deductive reasoning isn’t science. Beyond that, and from my perspective, the greatest failure of the entire system, K through 16, is how it deals with people whose brains simply work differently. Schools need to be able to enhance the education of both the ‘dys-spatial’ linear thinkers, and the dyslexic spatial thinkers!

Do you have a favorite book? Reading is too difficult to be fun, but I do love books, especially those with lots of pictures and diagrams! Two of my favorite books are written by two of my favorite scientists, Scott Gilbert’s Developmental Biology, and Brian Hall’s Bones and Cartilage. I like a lot of kid’s books including the ones I’ve written that have lots of pictures.

Read more From Q & A with Jack Horner at Current Biology

Photo Credit: Great Thoughts Treasury

Congrats Jack Horner for talk to scientists about the need for changes in science education and the abilities that come from imagination and visualization!