Article on Evolution Education in Science Endorses Teaching Students Evidence “That Supports … Or Does Not Support”

In a recent article in Science titled “Arguing to Learn in Science: The Role of Collaborative, Critical Discourse,” education theorist Jonathan Osborne explains the importance of using debate, argument, and critique when teaching science. In fact, he laments that these teaching strategies not employed more often: Argument and debate are common in science, yet they are virtually absent from science education. Recent research shows, however, that opportunities for students to engage in collaborative discourse and argumentation offer a means of enhancing student conceptual understanding and students’ skills and capabilities with scientific reasoning. As one of the hallmarks of the scientist is critical, rational skepticism, the lack of opportunities to develop the ability to reason and argue scientifically would appear to Read More ›

SC Dept of Education: Critical Analysis does NOT require Teaching ID

According to the recent Associated Press story on South Carolina’s new critical analysis of evolution standard, the South Carolina Department of Education does not think critical analysis means teaching alternative theories, like intelligent design (ID): “Education Department spokesman Jim Foster says scientific inquiry is taught at every grade level and in every subject. Foster says the wording does not require students to study alternatives to evolution that are out of the mainstream.” (Education panel approves wording on biology standards) We’ve been agreeing all along that critical analysis of evolution policies do not require teaching about alternative theories like ID! This just shows that the Darwinist claim that critical analysis = ID is just another tired conspiracy theory. So is the Read More ›

Critically Analyzing Martha Wise’s Editorial

In the Cincinnati Enquirer on February 22, Ohio State Board of Education Member Martha K. Wise has an editorial entitled Conservative Ohio values led to change in evolution policy. I find this editorial intriguing. Here is how she starts the essay: “I believe in God the creator. I believe in freedom. I believe in America, and the state of Ohio, and the Republican Party, fiscal conservatism, fairness and honesty. These values guided me last week to lead the Ohio Board of Education to remove creationism from our state’s Science Standards and Model Curriculum.” So clearly Martha Wise is stating that her belief in “God the creator” “guided” her last week to “remove creationism.” Whatever–I’m not here to nitpick or question Read More ›

Ohio State Board of Education Repeals Critical Analysis Policy; Sends to Subcommittee for Further Review and Recommendation

COLUMBUS, Ohio — February 15, 2006. Opponents of Ohio’s Critical Analysis of Evolution Lesson Plan convinced the Ohio State Board of Education (OSBE) yesterday to repeal both their benchmark requiring critical analysis of evolution and the approved lesson plan for teaching critical analysis of evolution. The Benchmark in Ohio’s Science Standards stated that students should “Describe how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory.” It also acknowledged that “The intent of this benchmark does not mandate the teaching or testing of intelligent design.” By an 11-4 vote, the OSBE complied with the Darwinists who were urging the OSBE to repeal both the benchmark and the lesson plan. The 11 Board members who supported repealing the policy Read More ›