SA teacher "forced to quit" after teaching evolution.

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BoogieMonster (March 12, 2012, 09:30:34 AM):
Well OK, there's woo and there's also downright incompetence. A colleague of mine recently ranted about his daughter's mainstream school who had this moron science teacher. She told kids various gems that had to be righted by said colleague personally (because teacher vehemently fought the daughter's assertions).

These included:

* Earth has an atmosphere because it has gravity. Other planets do not have atmospheres, because they do not have gravity. Conclusion: The Earth is the only planet with gravity.

* When you apply a force to something and it doesn't move, it applies an equal and opposite force back. BUT that only holds for stuff that isn't the earth, in the case of standing on the earth, the surface of the earth does NOT apply an equal force to you that opposes gravity. (how she believes this works is a mystery)

Now, the first assertion alone has so many things wrong with it that my brain hurts. And this is from a "trained" science teacher that DOES teach evolution, etc. Exactly HOW evolution is taught, is another matter I'm sure...
Mefiante (March 12, 2012, 10:39:47 AM):
Palaeontologist Dr Jurie van den Heever weighs in on the flipside of the situation where certain teachers refuse to teach evolution.

Incompetent teachers are just one aspect of the problem. Equally incompetent parents constitute the more important issue. Everybody is so busy shouting to be heard that nobody is listening anymore — not that they could hear anything above all the clamour even if they wanted to.

'Luthon64
Rigil Kent (March 12, 2012, 10:49:52 AM):
Everybody is so busy shouting to be heard that nobody is listening anymore

Quite. Maybe Newton's third law holds for shouting forces too. :(

Rigil
Faerie (March 12, 2012, 11:33:41 AM):
my brain hurts.

Quite.

Reflecting back on my eldest's years at school, I'm gobsmacked at the amount of teaching I personally had to do. How much I had to coach (and still does with my youngest) as to absorb the correct facts but still being able to appease the teacher with responding with the "correct " answers in order to pass set exams. It was (is) a constant juggle to make sure they understood exactly what is right but simultaneously being able to manipulate the system. Thank goodness that I'm a reader and we had endless sessions with encyclopedias spread open on the lounge floor cross-referencing facts.
Mefiante (March 12, 2012, 12:27:02 PM):
According to the article I linked to earlier, “the [CAPS] document [for life sciences] also recommends two weeks for learners to be taught about alternatives to evolution, including creationism and intelligent design.”

I’m both puzzled and alarmed that this provision should be included. Neither creationism nor intelligent design is science in any rigorous sense of that word. Creationism isn’t science because it isn’t falsifiable. Intelligent design isn’t science because it lacks objective standards for distinguishing designs that are the result of directed intelligence from those that are not. In any case, “god” (or whatever name you wish to give the ostensible creator/intelligent designer) is not any kind of useful, illuminating and/or fruitful explanation for anything. It merely defers the questions by being a placeholder for “I don’t know”.

I very much doubt that these powerful criticisms of those alternatives even make it into the life sciences syllabus.

No, this inclusion smells suspiciously like an appeasement gambit so that religious teachers and parents are mollified that their origins beliefs aren’t simply elbowed aside as they rightfully should be. The dark and dangerous side of this clause is, of course, that it legitimises creationism and intelligent design in the minds of pupils … er, I mean lennahs.

'Luthon64

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