posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 07:31 AM
Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill that would encourage classroom debate over evolution, sending it to Gov. Bill Haslam for signature.
The state House of Representatives voted 72-23 on Monday night to concur with Senate Bill 893, which calls on schools to create an environment that
helps “students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing
scientific theories,” including evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning. The bill protects teachers from
punishment if they encourage students to debate such topics.
The Family Action Council of Tennessee and other social conservatives have backed the measure, but science organizations have opposed it, saying it
will set back the state’s efforts to improve its education standards.
Personally, I think this a great step for Tennessee. Instead of presenting any theory as fact, teachers will now be protected from lawsuits if they
encourage their students to question and debate the topics.
When teaching science, we (teachers) focus more on the process than the known outcomes. In this way, our students discover for themselves our basic
scientific principals. For example, just last week my students were studying the aerodynamics of flight. We "designed" different aircraft based on
our understanding, then had a flying contest. The kids loved it, it was a lot of fun, and my first graders understand the basics of aviation design.
So much better than reading it from a book and accepting as fact.
I'd love to hear your thoughts, ATS.