Et tu, Connecticut?

Mark Tangarone, a Weston, Connecticut grade school teacher, came up with an awesome lesson plan to teach his students about evolution by recreating the voyage of the HMS Beagle:

To learn about Darwin, students would have retraced the path of the HMS Beagle, the expedition that inspired a young Darwin’s theory of evolution. Each student would study a stop in the voyage, reporting on the animals and adaptations that Darwin observed.

Now, that sounds like an exciting and engaging way to teach science to children. It presents science as the adventure that it is, while exploring the central theory of evolution that unifies all of biology. The first lesson, in the first biology class should always be about evolution, not a smattering of unconnected nature facts. Mark Tangarone astutely realized this, and for his creative efforts the school administration has twice rejected his lesson plan, driving him to earily resignation.

The administrators squeamishly claimed that they rejected to plan in order to avoid controversy stirred up by religious students and parents. However, the true colors come out in this quote from principal, Mark Ribbens:

While evolution is a robust scientific theory, it is a philosophically unsatisfactory explanation for the diversity of life.

Surprise, surprise. Creationist administrators hiding behind ‘philosophy’ in order to deny their students a proper science education.

Kudos, Mr. Principal, for putting the interest of educating of your students third, behind your religious dogma and spinelessness. In addition you drove a good teacher into early resignation and put you school administration on a pedestal as a shining example of anti-intellectualism, uncharacteristic of New England.

Read more at Wired


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Arthropoda can now be found here.

Michael Bok is a graduate student studying the visual system of mantis shrimp.

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