January 20th, 2012 Bob
Remember when summer break was made up of days playing outside until mom called you in for dinner? Today’s kids probably won’t. In the last two decades, childhood has moved indoors. The average American child spends more than seven hours a day in front of an electronic screen. This shift inside profoundly impacts the wellness of our kids. They are out of shape, tuned out and stressed out, because they’re missing something essential to their health and development: connection to the natural world. Outdoor learning programs and outdoor play time can help students become high-performance learners with skill sets that will be with them throughout their lives. Outdoor education and play time also helps students perform better on standardized tests.
Join us at the 2012 Oklahoma Environmental Education Expo (EE Expo) for ideas on how to get your students outside.
Keynote speaker for this year’s Oklahoma EE Expo is Jenifer Reynolds, host ofDiscover Oklahoma television series. Ms. Reynolds will be sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for a wealth of places in our state where Oklahoma can Get Outside!
Jenifer is a third generation Oklahoman, born in Miami. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, where she was awarded the DuPont-Columbia Award, the broadcast equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize. She’s the only college student ever to receive this honor. Her 14 years at NEWS 9, were spent reporting on various topics including government and children’s issues.
A lover of the outdoors and proud mother of three children, Jenifer is the host of Discover Oklahoma and Mind Games, a new show on KSBI that features Oklahoma college students competing for Scholarship money in a weekly “Battle of the Brains”.
Jenifer, her husband Chris, and their 3 children now reside in Jones, Oklahoma where they have chosen to live the agricultural lifestyle. This 45 acre farm is also the home of Sandbur Productions. Sandbur is a full service production company that produces the Telly Award Winning TV show “Inside Reining”.
The Oklahoma Environmental Education Expo is sponsored by the Oklahoma Association of Environmental Education (OKAEE) and Oklahoma State University (OSU). Our goal is to promote environmental education opportunities by gathering experts, teachers, and community members together to share ideas and resources available through our state agencies and universities.
January 20th, 2012 Bob
(from the National Center for Science Education, http://ncse.com/news)
Senate Bill 1742 (see below), prefiled in the Oklahoma Senate, is apparently the sixth antievolution bill of 2012, following on the heels of two bills in New Hampshire, two bills in Missouri, and one bill in Indiana. The bill would, if enacted, require the state board of education to assist teachers and administrators in promoting “critical thinking, logical analysis, open and objective discussion of scientific theories including, but not limited to, evolution, the origin of life, global warming, and human cloning” upon request of the local school district. The bill also provides that teachers “may use supplemental textbooks and instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.”
SB 1742 is evidently modeled in part on the so-called Louisiana Science Education Act, passed and enacted in 2008 as Louisiana Revised Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:285.1; indeed, the bill itself declares, “This act is modeled on a Louisiana law which has not been invalidated by the highest court of the State of Louisiana or a federal district court,” adding, “Legal challenges to academic freedom bills have historically alleged that such bills are intended to allow the teaching of creationism or intelligent design. This bill does not propose that schools teach creationism or intelligent design, rather, it is the intent to foster an environment of critical thinking in schools including a scientific critique of the theory of evolution.”
The sole sponsor of SB 1742 is Josh Brecheen (R-District 6). In 2011, Brecheen introduced Senate Bill 554, which combined a different version of the “academic freedom language” — referring to “the scientific strengths [and] scientific weaknesses of controversial topics … [which] include but are not limited to biological origins of life and biological evolution” — with a directive for the state board of education to adopt “standards and curricula” that echo the flawed portions of the state science standards adopted in Texas in 2009 with respect to the nature of science and evolution. SB 554 apparently died in committee on February 28, 2011, when a deadline for senate bills to be reported from committee passed.
Before Brecheen filed SB 554, he announced his intention to file antievolution legislation in a column in the Durant Daily Democrat (December 19, 2010): “Renowned scientists now asserting that evolution is laden with errors are being ignored. … Using your tax dollars to teach the unknown, without disclosing the entire scientific findings[,] is incomplete and unacceptable.” In a subsequent column in the newspaper (December 24, 2010), he indicated that his intention was to have creationism presented as scientifically credible, writing, “I have introduced legislation requiring every publically funded Oklahoma school to teach the debate of creation vs. evolution using the known science, even that which conflicts with Darwin’s religion.”
SENATE BILL 1742 By: Brecheen
An Act relating to school curriculum; creating the Oklahoma Science Education Act; providing short title; providing legislative intent; providing for the assistance of teachers in teaching scientific curriculum; promoting critical thinking; allowing for open discussion of scientific theories; directing teachers to teach certain material; allowing supplemental material to be taught; prohibiting the promotion of a particular belief system; directing the State Board of Education to adopt rules; providing for codification; providing for noncodification; providing an effective date; and declaring an emergency.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:
SECTION 1. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 11-103.12 of Title 70, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:
This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Oklahoma Science Education Act”.
SECTION 2. NEW LAW A new section of law not to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes reads as follows:.
Recognizing the importance of critical thinking, logical analysis and objective discussion in education it is the intent of the Legislature to foster an environment in public schools where such learning occurs. This act is modeled on a Louisiana law which has not been invalidated by the highest court of the State of Louisiana or a federal district court. Legal challenges to academic freedom bills have historically alleged that such bills are intended to allow the teaching of creationism or intelligent design. This bill does not propose that schools teach creationism or intelligent design, rather, it is the intent to foster an environment of critical thinking in schools including a scientific critique of the theory of evolution.
SECTION 3. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 11-103.13 of Title 70, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:
A. The State Board of Education, upon the request of a school district board of education, shall allow and assist teachers, principals, and school administrators in creating an environment within the public school system that promotes critical thinking, logical analysis, open and objective discussion of scientific theories including, but not limited to, evolution, the origin of life, global warming, and human cloning. Assistance shall include support and guidance for teachers regarding effective ways to help students understand, analyze, critique, and objectively review scientific theories being studied, including those enumerated in this subsection.
B. A teacher shall teach the material presented in the standard science textbook and may use supplemental textbooks and instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.
C. This act shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine or set of religious beliefs.
D. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to implement the provisions of this act.
SECTION 4. This act shall become effective July 1, 2012.
SECTION 5. It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval.