Friday, July 17, 2009

Tampa Teacher's Workshop

Tampa Online notes that local teachers will be able to attend a workshop on how to navigate "Controversial Issues in the Science Classroom." The story, by Ronnie Blair, has this to say:
Speakers will guide science teachers through such topics as "The Glorious History of Creationism in Florida," "Cognitive Biases and Misconceptions of Students" and "Controversial Issues Outside of Evolution."

Among the groups participating are the National Center for Science Education, Florida Citizens for Science and the Coalition for Science Literacy.
As much as this is laudable, the problems typically stem from the school boards and the parents, both of which, typically, have very little biological education and couldn't spot the theory of evolution on a map. This is especially true when science standards are being drafted, such as last year:

At that time, the state Board of Education held hearings throughout Florida to seek public input. Much of that input focused on the fact evolution was mentioned by name in the science standards for the first time.

After the standards were approved, the Legislature weighed in both this year and last with bills that tried to challenge the validity of evolution.

One bill would have prohibited school officials from punishing teachers for using "scientific information" to challenge evolution. Another would have required schools to teach "critical analysis" of evolution.

The bills didn't pass.

The YEC lobby is well organized and most legislators are not equipped to refute their arguments, so the bills get drafted. It is then up to the teachers and scientists to hold the line.

Now playing: Steve Hackett - Firewall
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