Tuesday, July 3, 2012

We're not evolving....

"I can here safely give the reason why children are not taught science, and I think you will all agree with me:
teachers do not really know science themselves
on account of textbook methods."

Francis W. Parker
Talks on Pedagogics, 1894

It's not something said in polite company, but it needs to be said anyway. Parker said this well over a century ago, and little has changed.

We need to be confident enough in our profession to correct each other when we're wrong. We don't need to do this publicly, but we do need to do it within our guild.

“Our research suggests that many teachers
do not feel like they have the expertise

they need to confidently teach evolutionary biology in a rigorous and unapologetic manner.”
Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer
"An Evolving Controversy," American Educator, 2012

Richard Ling, permission pending.

According to Berkman and Plutzer, a survey of American biology teachers showed that only "[s]lightly more than a quarter (28%) are clear advocates of evolutionary biology."

This is like saying most math teachers are are shy to push the concept of zero--Arabic numerals sounds so suspicious.

I can't believe we even need to have this kind of discussion....

The photo is of my foot and a cabbagehead jelly--we've both been evolving for about the same length of time. Really.

1 comment:

John T. Spencer said...

As someone who loves literature, I have to admit: I'm not sure I believe in theme or characters. Not sure they exist. Not sure we should approach them with any sense of certainty. What if we're wrong? What if this is no lesson to be learned? What if characterization is offensive to people with an entirely fatalistic worldview?

We can't have it.

So, I say teach the elements of literature alongside a very poor interpretation of nihilism.