Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Crazy Talk In Place Of Science Education?

Imagine this...

You have a child in high school and your hope is that he learns enough to prepare him/her to do well in a good college. You trust that he/she is being taught the essentials in English, Math, History, Languages, and Science. Your son or daughter goes to their biology class and the teacher spends the time reading bible passages and showing a powerpoint presentation linking evolution, Nazi Germany, and Planned Parenthood. Parents in Sisters, Oregon didn't have to imagine it because it happend in their high school. Kris Helphinstine, the offending "teacher" has fortunately been fired.

Helphinstine had the nerve to suggest teaching that there are links between evolution, Nazi Germany, and Planned Parenthood was simply, "Critical thinking is vital to scientific inquiry My whole purpose was to give accurate information and to get them thinking." His powerpoint presentation and use of the bible in the science classroom was no way near critical thinking, but more like crazy Art Bell Coast to Coast (the show that has people calling in claiming to be aliens or the Zodiac killer living on another planet) thinking.

I believe that the main duty of a teacher is to prepare students for college even if they decide to do something else with their lives, because it gives them a good foundation if they change their minds and do go to college. What Helphinstine was teaching will not prepare students for any college, except Bob Jones University. Biology teachers should be teaching about evolution, scientific method, cell structure, skeletal, reproductive, muscle, respiratory, nervous systems, among other topics that are fundamental knowledge in the Scientific community. Science education is about giving our kids the opportunity to someday have science careers if they choose to do so.

Personally, I do not care if a person chooses to believe that the earth was created 6000 years ago and that man and dinosaur co-existed. As an American, you have the right to believe all kinds of crazy and improbable things. When you are intrusted with educating our students, you have the obligation to put aside your possibly hairbrained beliefs to teach the curriculum to get our darlings into college. If you are not doing this you are wasting our time and need to be fired and your ability to teach science revoked.

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