Are Florida teachers really teaching evolution?
But for a blip here and there, the hot topic of teaching evolution in Florida schools pretty much fell off the radar after the Florida Board of Education approved new science standards in February 2008. But this new study about Florida science teachers, covered in detail on the Florida Citizens for Science blog, makes us think we should be paying a lot more attention. It found:
* 20 percent of the teachers who responded to a survey that anchored the study (and these would be teachers of science at all grade levels) said they were not comfortable with evolution being in the new science standards
* 17 percent said they don't believe the Earth is at least four billion years old
* 17 percent said they felt students can understand biology without learning about evolution
* Two-thirds said they disagreed or strongly disagreed with the the statement that "Believing in God means rejecting evolution:
This doesn't mean Florida teachers are NOT teaching evolution, as the standards dictate. And to be sure, the study relied on a small sample of teachers. But doesn't it make you wonder?
"Unfortunately, we don't know what is going on in those classrooms," writes FCS spokesman and blogger Brandon Haught. "Are they skipping evolution? Are they teaching inaccurate information? ... My guess is that there are plenty of teachers across the state who are using the old technique of just not being able to get to that chapter on evolution because they ran out of time in the course."
(Image from southdakotapolitics.com)