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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

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 Evolution takes a back seat in US classes

According to researchers, school districts around the country are leaving evolution out of the classroom even when it is part of the approved curriculum:
Teaching guides and textbooks may meet the approval of biologists, but superintendents or principals discourage teachers from discussing it. Or teachers themselves avoid the topic, fearing protests from fundamentalists in their communities.

"The most common remark I've heard from teachers was that the chapter on evolution was assigned as reading but that virtually no discussion in class was taken," said Dr. John R. Christy, a climatologist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, an evangelical Christian and a member of Alabama's curriculum review board who advocates the teaching of evolution. Teachers are afraid to raise the issue, he said in an e-mail message, and they are afraid to discuss the issue in public.

Dr. Frandsen, former chairman of the committee on science and public policy of the Alabama Academy of Science, said in an interview that this fear made it impossible to say precisely how many teachers avoid the topic.

"You're not going to hear about it," he said. "And for political reasons nobody will do a survey among randomly selected public school children and parents to ask just what is being taught in science classes."...

Dr. Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, said she heard "all the time" from teachers who did not teach evolution 'because it's just too much trouble."

"Or their principals tell them, 'We just don't have time to teach everything so let's leave out the things that will cause us problems,'" she said.

1 Comments:

Blogger lepton said...

yeah i went to a secular high-school where evolution wasn't talked about at all

then i went to a Christian college and spent a whole semester in Anthro learning about human evolution... at this evangelical Christian college a prof can get fired for being too supportive of evolution (but this doesn't keep many if not most of the science profs from teaching it)

11:32 PM  

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