Saturday, December 03, 2005

On Pedagogy and Cartography

What does it mean to "Teach the Controversy"? In short, it means different things to different people. To an intelligent design creationist, it means presenting creationism as a valid alternative to evolutionary biology (descent with modification, natural selection, etc) to impressionable high school children. To a trained biologist, it means explaining creationist claims, then invalidating them with science. But does this approach work? Steve Verhey, an assistant professor of biology at Central Washington University, seems to think so. Verhey's paper can be found as a link from his webpage, where he has also made some other resources available. The Panda's Thumb also has an entry devoted to the Verhey article, which questions some of his statistical analysis.

I would be remiss to not mention that biology education is not the only curriculum getting the shaft in America's public schools. Lenny Flank points out:
"I think that the US education system *as a whole* is a mess, not just biology, and not even just science. Poll after poll shows that many Americans don'’t know what country the US won independence from, can't find the US on a world map, can'’t name the Vice President of the US, and think 'from each according to ability, to each according to need' comes from the US Constitution."
Of course, some of our children is learning (thank you Mr. President), as you can see by this map of the United States.


Post a Comment

<< Home