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← Classroom Clashes: Teaching evolution

Sharpur's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Sharpur

Raphael Rabinowitz was teaching about the characteristics of living and non-living things like viruses when emotions began to flare in his classroom. “The second I dropped the word ‘evolve,’ mayhem followed,” he remembers...

Next year will be different, he says. The teacher plans to review different religious and scientific perspectives — ancient and modern — with the class so students can make an informed decision about what they believe.

Working to create a safe space for learning has worked for some teachers.

“I gave them the dignity to listen and learn with how I prefaced it,” Pemberton says of her classroom days. “I didn’t make it contentious; I made it as safe as possible.”it as safe as possible.”

This annoys me. It's no part of a science teacher's job to address 'religious perspectives' nor to make things 'safe' for teenage agents provocateurs. Ignorance should be challenged where it's genuine. Where it's faked, and used as an excuse for disruption, it deserves no more response than: "Get out of my classroom!"

I have some sympathy for those children condemned to ignorance by their parents, but really, in those circumstances - in the US - where it's a whole congregation plus the school board against them, I don't see that all the onus can be placed on out-numbered teachers. Pupils, parents and the wider community need to learn that their folly has consequences.

Thu, 07 Jun 2012 00:38:10 UTC | #946010