Friday, May 01, 2015

Arroyo Grande Technical School: Tribune Editorial

The editors of the Tribune in San Luis Obispo have written an editorial on the scuffle involving Brandon Pettenger and his inclusion of creationism as a discussion issue in class.  From the Tribune:
We don’t mind if science teachers want to briefly stray from the state-sanctioned curriculum to, say, discuss a shark attack off our coast, or engage in lively debate over nuclear power, or even to briefly vent about not being able to watch Dodgers games on TV.

After all, the best teachers are those who make their classes relevant, timely and interesting. If that means occasionally deviating from the lesson plan, so be it. But to spend three days showing a filmed debate on creationism vs. evolution — as Arroyo Grande High School science teacher Brandon Pettenger reportedly did — and to assign students to read and summarize a pro-creationist blog is not OK. It violates state teaching standards and the Lucia Mar Unified School District’s board policy. It also takes advantage of a position of authority to foist religious instruction on a captive audience, even if it’s done under the guise of giving students the information they need in order to decide for themselves.
It would be helpful if there was more information about which blog they summarized. If the blog is BioLogos, then the science is sound, even if it is within the context of Christian theology. If the blog was Answers in Genesis, then there is no science and the teacher did a massive disservice to the students. Once again, though, much is unclear. Did he have them summarize the scientific failings of the blog? Was it in the context of a discussion of “bad science?” Would be nice to know.

1 comment:

  1. This is all very understandable but it will be exploited by You Know Who:
    It does not sound like the teacher referred his students to Biologos!
    "According to the Friendly Atheist, science teacher Brandon Pettenger of Arroyo Grande High School has been showing the video to his students, and then having them summarize the debate by posting on creationist websites."
    More here:
    And here: