Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolution

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Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolution

#1  Postby cakrit » Mar 31, 2010 10:14 am

http://ecographica.blogspot.com/2010/03/views-of-biology-teachers-towards.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+ResearchBloggingAllEnglish+(Research+Blogging+-+English+-+All+Topics)&utm_content=Google+Reader

A Few of the Findings:
20% of Florida’s biology teachers are NOT COMFORTABLE with even INCLUDING evolution as a required science standard
17% of the teachers felt that biology COULD be taught and understood WITHOUT teaching evolution
17% DISAGREED that the earth is at least 4 billion years old (34% of those that disagreed believed that the earth is only between 4,000 and 40,000 years old)
34% felt that believing in God MEANS rejecting evolution
72% of the respondents reported that they HAD NEVER BEEN criticized by other teachers or school administrators in regards to HOW they taught evolution
44% of the teachers indicated that their teaching of evolution HAS BEEN criticized by students or parents


How can someone be allowed to be a biology teacher when they don't believe in evolution? Is anyone fighting to get laws passed against this? Creationists are using all their might to make creationism accepted in schools and - thankfully - have not succeeded yet. Isn't it time someone fought back so that these ignorant fools can be relieved of duty?
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#2  Postby chairman bill » Mar 31, 2010 10:19 am

I see evolution as a foundational issue in understanding biology. Rejecting it because of the writings of some Bronze Age goat-herders is far from a scientific, critical analysis. Ergo, they are not fit to teach science.
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#3  Postby Shrunk » Mar 31, 2010 10:41 am

I read of a suggestion a few years ago that teaching should be made a profession along the lines of medicine or law, with a six-figure salary. But this would be accompanied by raising the standards of admission and the length and difficulty of obtaining a teaching degree so that it was also commensurate with those professions. There are obvious reasons that this will never happen, but I wonder if it would partially address problems such as the one raised in this thread.

(I also mean no disparagement to the teaching profession, which I believe is underpaid as it is. Except for the creationist ones, who should be thrown out into the street, of course.)
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#4  Postby trubble76 » Mar 31, 2010 10:47 am

is it just me, or is a Biology teacher that doesn't believe in evolution a little like a doctor that doesn't believe in neurology?
Both should be struck off.

Actually, having considered it a little more, i don't care what they believe as long as there are ZERO recognisable differences in their professional activities between them and someone that does believe it. Whether or not that is possible is another matter.
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#5  Postby katja z » Mar 31, 2010 10:53 am

cakrit wrote:
How can someone be allowed to be a biology teacher when they don't believe in evolution? Is anyone fighting to get laws passed against this? Creationists are using all their might to make creationism accepted in schools and - thankfully - have not succeeded yet. Isn't it time someone fought back so that these ignorant fools can be relieved of duty?

While I fully share your sentiments on those teachers, I wonder how you could ensure that someone "believes" in evolution. Would there be some sort of creed to recite? :grin:

On a more serious note, there probably could be a binding statement about teaching evolution in class they'd have to sign. It's sad though that this should even be a question. :scratch: IMO, it's completely irrelevant whether a teacher thinks the theory of evolution is valid or whether they think the world is a ball of phlegm coughed up yesterday by a deity with a bad case of common cold. As long as they do their job and tell kids what science has to say about the whole thing, I really don't care.
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#6  Postby GreatApe » Mar 31, 2010 11:09 am

cakrit wrote:
How can someone be allowed to be a biology teacher when they don't believe in evolution? Is anyone fighting to get laws passed against this? Creationists are using all their might to make creationism accepted in schools and - thankfully - have not succeeded yet. Isn't it time someone fought back so that these ignorant fools can be relieved of duty?


As someone who got their master's degree in Florida and who taught there for 6 years, let me just say that there are three states in the U.S. where NOTHING shocks me anymore: Florida, Kansas and Texas ...
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#7  Postby cakrit » Mar 31, 2010 1:58 pm

katja z wrote:
cakrit wrote:
How can someone be allowed to be a biology teacher when they don't believe in evolution? Is anyone fighting to get laws passed against this? Creationists are using all their might to make creationism accepted in schools and - thankfully - have not succeeded yet. Isn't it time someone fought back so that these ignorant fools can be relieved of duty?

While I fully share your sentiments on those teachers, I wonder how you could ensure that someone "believes" in evolution. Would there be some sort of creed to recite? :grin:

On a more serious note, there probably could be a binding statement about teaching evolution in class they'd have to sign. It's sad though that this should even be a question. :scratch: IMO, it's completely irrelevant whether a teacher thinks the theory of evolution is valid or whether they think the world is a ball of phlegm coughed up yesterday by a deity with a bad case of common cold. As long as they do their job and tell kids what science has to say about the whole thing, I really don't care.


You have a point on the "believes" thing... :oops:

On the other point though, we're not talking about believing in Voodoo or ghosts. We are talking about understanding the material that it is your job to teach. It is impossible for someone with doubts about evolution to refrain from making an idiotic comment like that it is 'just a theory'.

Of course, I'm writing all this in a country that still teaches Greek orthodox dogma in schools... :ill:
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#8  Postby Michael Markham » Mar 31, 2010 4:48 pm

cakrit wrote:http://ecographica.blogspot.com/2010/03/views-of-biology-teachers-towards.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+ResearchBloggingAllEnglish+(Research+Blogging+-+English+-+All+Topics)&utm_content=Google+Reader

A Few of the Findings:
20% of Florida’s biology teachers are NOT COMFORTABLE with even INCLUDING evolution as a required science standard
17% of the teachers felt that biology COULD be taught and understood WITHOUT teaching evolution
17% DISAGREED that the earth is at least 4 billion years old (34% of those that disagreed believed that the earth is only between 4,000 and 40,000 years old)
34% felt that believing in God MEANS rejecting evolution
72% of the respondents reported that they HAD NEVER BEEN criticized by other teachers or school administrators in regards to HOW they taught evolution
44% of the teachers indicated that their teaching of evolution HAS BEEN criticized by students or parents


How can someone be allowed to be a biology teacher when they don't believe in evolution? Is anyone fighting to get laws passed against this? Creationists are using all their might to make creationism accepted in schools and - thankfully - have not succeeded yet. Isn't it time someone fought back so that these ignorant fools can be relieved of duty?





How about if we picture the teacher as not an actual entity with beliefs.....but as nothing other than an accumulation of beliefs?

He can't help what his totality is telling him.
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#9  Postby mmmcheezy » Mar 31, 2010 4:50 pm

It's still wrong.
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#10  Postby katja z » Mar 31, 2010 5:02 pm

cakrit wrote:
On the other point though, we're not talking about believing in Voodoo or ghosts. We are talking about understanding the material that it is your job to teach. It is impossible for someone with doubts about evolution to refrain from making an idiotic comment like that it is 'just a theory'.

Good point. I've been thinking about that. After all, I imagine I would suck at teaching Creationism or Bible classes even if I really tried to :nono:
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#11  Postby Warren Dew » Mar 31, 2010 5:11 pm

cakrit wrote:How can someone be allowed to be a biology teacher when they don't believe in evolution?

Most likely their own degrees are in education rather than in biology. They may have little to no science background.

Ideally, junior high and high school teachers would be required to have a degree in the subject matter they are teaching, rather than an education degree. Requiring that, though, often means politically difficult fights with teachers' unions.
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#12  Postby Michael Markham » Mar 31, 2010 5:44 pm

mmmcheezy wrote:It's still wrong.





If he were right..........would anybody be better off?
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#13  Postby mmmcheezy » Mar 31, 2010 5:53 pm

Michael Markham wrote:
mmmcheezy wrote:It's still wrong.





If he were right..........would anybody be better off?


All I'm saying is that nobody should take a career that they can't do correctly. If you're a biology teacher, your job is to teach biology, which includes evolution [and has for many many years now].
But I've been told I'm too idealistic. :roll:
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#14  Postby Michael Markham » Mar 31, 2010 6:01 pm

mmmcheezy wrote:
Michael Markham wrote:
mmmcheezy wrote:It's still wrong.





If he were right..........would anybody be better off?


All I'm saying is that nobody should take a career that they can't do correctly.






Perhaps.................you could tell tell that to our President. :lol:
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#15  Postby mmmcheezy » Mar 31, 2010 6:11 pm

Michael Markham wrote:





Perhaps.................you could tell tell that to our President. :lol:


I'm going to have to disagree with you there! :cheers:
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#16  Postby Warren Dew » Mar 31, 2010 6:20 pm

mmmcheezy wrote:All I'm saying is that nobody should take a career that they can't do correctly. If you're a biology teacher, your job is to teach biology, which includes evolution [and has for many many years now].

If they are education majors, how are they supposed to realize that they can't teach biology correctly? They may never have been exposed to any real science, let alone evolution, so they don't have any basis to know just how critical evolution is to biology.
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#17  Postby mmmcheezy » Mar 31, 2010 6:38 pm

Warren Dew wrote:
mmmcheezy wrote:All I'm saying is that nobody should take a career that they can't do correctly. If you're a biology teacher, your job is to teach biology, which includes evolution [and has for many many years now].

If they are education majors, how are they supposed to realize that they can't teach biology correctly? They may never have been exposed to any real science, let alone evolution, so they don't have any basis to know just how critical evolution is to biology.

Well, it's things like this [and many others] that make it so OBVIOUS that our education system needs a major overhaul.
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#18  Postby byofrcs » Mar 31, 2010 6:47 pm

As a European then I'm very pleased that educationalists in the US are vacillating on teaching fiction. Given for the next 50 years there is going to be a shitstorm of money to be made in genetic-based biotech, that teachers educate US students to think God-did-it pretty well hands that pie to the rest of us on a plate.

Yeah Florida. God really really did it and in 6 days. :dance:
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#19  Postby Lazar » Mar 31, 2010 7:00 pm

katja z wrote:
cakrit wrote:
How can someone be allowed to be a biology teacher when they don't believe in evolution? Is anyone fighting to get laws passed against this? Creationists are using all their might to make creationism accepted in schools and - thankfully - have not succeeded yet. Isn't it time someone fought back so that these ignorant fools can be relieved of duty?

While I fully share your sentiments on those teachers, I wonder how you could ensure that someone "believes" in evolution. Would there be some sort of creed to recite? :grin:

On a more serious note, there probably could be a binding statement about teaching evolution in class they'd have to sign. It's sad though that this should even be a question. :scratch: IMO, it's completely irrelevant whether a teacher thinks the theory of evolution is valid or whether they think the world is a ball of phlegm coughed up yesterday by a deity with a bad case of common cold. As long as they do their job and tell kids what science has to say about the whole thing, I really don't care.


Exactly. I could not give a shit what my doctors, lawyers, psychologists, politicians, school teachers, etc. religious beliefs are as long as they do there job.
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Re: Florida biology teachers not comfortable teaching evolut

#20  Postby Shrunk » Mar 31, 2010 7:08 pm

mmmcheezy wrote:
Warren Dew wrote:
mmmcheezy wrote:All I'm saying is that nobody should take a career that they can't do correctly. If you're a biology teacher, your job is to teach biology, which includes evolution [and has for many many years now].

If they are education majors, how are they supposed to realize that they can't teach biology correctly? They may never have been exposed to any real science, let alone evolution, so they don't have any basis to know just how critical evolution is to biology.

Well, it's things like this [and many others] that make it so OBVIOUS that our education system needs a major overhaul.


What do you think of that idea I suggested above: Making teaching into a profession that pays like medicine or law but also requires postgraduate level training, including specific training in particular areas of specialty, such as science, math etc at least to the level of a university undergrad?
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