Monday, April 27, 2009

Evolution in Ontario: Is it Being Taught?

Andrew Vowles of the Ontario Spectator laments that, despite the fact that the much-publicised trials about evolution are taking place south of the border, Canadian teachers aren't exercising their freedom to teach it. He writes:
Look for evolution in the Ontario science curriculum and you might be forgiven for thinking that the creationist side had won.

The topic shows up as an explicit unit only in Grade 12 biology, which is not a required course. Some students come across it in earth and space sciences, another Grade 12 elective. Informally, evolution must surely crop up in middle or high school during discussion of genetics, taxonomy, diversity or similar topics.

Still, only a relative handful of students encounter any in-depth discussion of evolutionary mechanisms and the scientific evidence for them.
I wonder if this is an example of "don't ask, don't tell," with regard to the topic. Maybe these teachers feel it is just better to leave well enough alone, rather than face the increasingly litigious creation camp.

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