July 31st, 2010 Bob
From NCSE’s Evolution Education Update, July 30, 2010
(Editor’s note- Given Oklahoma’s new law allowing the teaching of the Bible in public school, it may be time to once again review what is legal and appropriate when teaching about religion in K-12 Public Schools.)
It is wrong to teach creation science or intelligent design in the science classroom, according to the American Academy of Religion. In its “Guidelines for Teaching About Religion in K‐12 Public Schools in the United States,” issued in April 2010, the Academy poses the question “Can creation science or intelligent design be taught in schools?” and answers (p. 21, emphasis in the original):
Yes, but NOT in science classes. Creation science and intelligent design represent worldviews that fall outside of the realm of science that is defined as (and limited to) a method of inquiry based on gathering observable and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. Creation science, intelligent design, and other worldviews that focus on speculation regarding the origins of life represent another important and relevant form of human inquiry that is appropriately studied in literature or social sciences courses. Such study, however, MUST include a diversity of worldviews representing a variety of religious and philosophical perspectives and must avoid privileging one view as more legitimate than others.
The American Academy of Religion is a learned society and professional association of teachers and research scholars, with over 10,000 members who teach in over 1000 colleges, universities, seminaries, and schools in North America and abroad. The Academy is dedicated to furthering knowledge of religion and religious institutions in all their forms and manifestations.
For the AAR’s Guidelines (PDF), visit:
July 21st, 2010 Bob
Teaching Evolution in the 21st Century
Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education (OESE), the National Science Foundation (NSF-0845314), and the University of Oklahoma Biological Station (UOBS) present a professional development workshop on Teaching Evolution in the 21st Century for Oklahoma high school science teachers and undergraduate and graduate students in science education. The workshop will be held Friday Sept. 17 (6:00 PM) through Sunday Sept. 19, 2010 (3:00 PM) at the University of Oklahoma Biological Station on Lake Texoma, OK.
Topics covered will include: The nature of science and latest developments in evolutionary biology, resources on teaching evolution and services available for teachers, curriculum development and state standards, and dealing with classroom and community controversy. Teachers will have the opportunity to present their favorite lesson plans and discuss any problems they have encountered in teaching evolution.
Instructors include Julie Angle (Teaching and Curriculum Leadership, OSU), Dr Richard Broughton (Zoology, OU), Dr. Ola Fincke (Zoology, OU), Dr. Victor Hutchison (Zoology, OU), Dr. Cecil Lewis (Anthropology, OU), Bob Melton (Science Curriculum Specialist, Putnam City Schools), Dr. Stanley Rice (Biological Sciences, Southeastern OSU), and Dr. Frank Sonleitner (Zoology, OU).
Participants will earn a certificate of participation for professional development credit.
Attendees will receive two books on teaching evolution: Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science, and The Virus and the Whale: Exploring Evolution in Creatures Large and Small. Accommodations and meals at the UOBS and a stipend to cover travel are included.
The only cost for participants is a $25 registration fee. Deadline for registration and payment of fee will be Sept. 1, 2010. Early registration is advised since places are limited to 30 registrants. Registrants will receive a confirmation letter with maps and additional information.
Further information, registration forms and payment information are on-line at: www.oklascience.org/teachers.pdf and at www.ou.edu /uobs/teachers.htm . To sign up for the Oklahoma Evolution list serve and for many teaching resources, news, events, books, humor, petition on science only in science classes, and much, more see the OESE web site: http://www.oklascience.org
July 12th, 2010 Bob
Today the National Research Council (NRC) Board on Science Education released a draft conceptual framework for new science education standards http://www7.nationalacademies.org/bose/Standards_Framework_Homepage.html. The framework lays the foundation for what core science ideas, cross-cutting concepts, and scientific practices all students need to succeed in science, and is the first major step in the development of the next generation of science standards.
Teachers and all stakeholders have until August 2 to review and comment on the framework.
All teachers can have input on this draft framework. Please forward this message to your science teacher colleagues or to listservs in your state or school. Take a moment NOW to review the draft framework document and answer the online questionnaire.
· Review and Comment on the Draft Framework http://www7.nationalacademies.org/bose/Standards_Framework_Homepage.html.
Open for Public Comments Until August 2!
· Read background information and an FAQ from the NRC http://www7.nationalacademies.org/bose/Standards_Framework_FAQs.html