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Twilightprincess
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27 Nov 2019, 12:46 pm

A teacher at my nephew’s public school which is in my school district recently told the kids (fourth graders) that the dinosaurs became extinct due to THE (biblical) Flood. Yikes!

Is that fairly typical for elementary school? It was when I was a kid, but I would’ve thought that times had changed between now and then. We do live in a rural, conservative area, though.

My 3rd grade son has complained about not doing much in the way of science at school, so we’ve been doing various things at home. At 8, he can describe evolution through natural selection and can tell you what a mutation is. (I’m a Proud Mama.) I only had the opportunity to learn about evolution as an adult, and it held me back from understanding and appreciating science at even a basic level.

I’m sort of concerned about the school pushing ideas that have not been backed by science on him. Sure, some dinosaurs have died in floods, but dying in THE Flood is absurd. If dinos had been around, Noah probably would’ve been a tasty snack.



naturalplastic
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27 Nov 2019, 1:36 pm

In my area you would never hear that from a teacher even back when I was in grades school in the Sixties. And my hyperreligious Grandma from Kansas never denied evolution.

It seems to me that this modern Evolution Denial, and extreme Creationism is a recent thing.



magz
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27 Nov 2019, 1:53 pm

1. Nice to see you again, Twilightprincess!

2. 8O
No way for such things here, really.


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Twilightprincess
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27 Nov 2019, 5:15 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
In my area you would never hear that from a teacher even back when I was in grades school in the Sixties. And my hyperreligious Grandma from Kansas never denied evolution.

It seems to me that this modern Evolution Denial, and extreme Creationism is a recent thing.


It was around when I was a kid. My area is pretty conservative and there’s ultra conservatives (Amish, Mennonites) on the outskirts of the communities I’ve been a part of.

About 10 years ago, they took a huge plaque of the Ten Commandments out of a school in my community and people had a fit about it! Now all those middle schoolers are making and worshiping graven images (just kidding).

Anyway, my fifth grade teacher had to briefly mention evolution in a class, and she presented it like this: “Some people [stated with a deep sigh and shake of the head] believe this...”

I homeschooled after that and only heard of evolution from an incredibly ill-informed and warped creationist’s perspective. Oy vey!

I find some of this absurdly funny now although by undermining science it’s not much of a stretch to undermine other realms that rely on scientific thought, like real, professional doctors (anti-vaccine or even anti-medicine).

There seems to be fewer “normal” religious people or maybe the few crazies are getting more vocal.



Twilightprincess
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27 Nov 2019, 5:20 pm

magz wrote:
1. Nice to see you again, Twilightprincess!

2. 8O
No way for such things here, really.


Hi!

I’m not that happy about it. I’m trying to keep my son from getting involved in my family’s religion. Also, he seems to have a natural ability when it comes to science.

I basically want to enable him to see the excitement and wonder in science while developing the ability to think rationally and from a critical stance. It’s concerning when adults who should be role models aren’t setting a good example.

Then again, I’m probably worrying too much...



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28 Nov 2019, 12:56 am

Twilightprincess wrote:
magz wrote:
1. Nice to see you again, Twilightprincess!

2. 8O
No way for such things here, really.


Hi!

I’m not that happy about it. I’m trying to keep my son from getting involved in my family’s religion. Also, he seems to have a natural ability when it comes to science.

I basically want to enable him to see the excitement and wonder in science while developing the ability to think rationally and from a critical stance. It’s concerning when adults who should be role models aren’t setting a good example.

Then again, I’m probably worrying too much...



Really good to see you Twilightprincess! I trust your judgement in this. We do need to protect our kids from ignorance, while at the same time maintaining decent relationships with family members and educators with nonsensical ideas.


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Twilightprincess
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28 Nov 2019, 2:23 pm

Teach51 wrote:
Twilightprincess wrote:
magz wrote:
1. Nice to see you again, Twilightprincess!

2. 8O
No way for such things here, really.


Hi!

I’m not that happy about it. I’m trying to keep my son from getting involved in my family’s religion. Also, he seems to have a natural ability when it comes to science.

I basically want to enable him to see the excitement and wonder in science while developing the ability to think rationally and from a critical stance. It’s concerning when adults who should be role models aren’t setting a good example.

Then again, I’m probably worrying too much...



Really good to see you Twilightprincess! I trust your judgement in this. We do need to protect our kids from ignorance, while at the same time maintaining decent relationships with family members and educators with nonsensical ideas.


Hi!

Yeah, it’s not an easy thing to do.



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28 Nov 2019, 3:13 pm

A friend of mine, who went to a different primary/elementary school than me, used to get into trouble for mentioning dinosaurs. The head teacher there claimed that dinosaurs never existed. My friend didn't like that. He didn't like the head teacher in general either. So, he decided to show up to his nativity play dressed as a dinosaur. :lol:

Now, as for my primary experience, I don't think the topic of dinosaurs ever came up. At all. I used to watch cartoons with dinosaurs in them but I never cared much about the subject. When I was in Primary, I found science to be boring because usually all we ever did was make salt water or look after watercress plants.

The science was always incredibly minimum. I failed my primary school exams. That school didn't teach me much. OFSTED ranked the teaching standards as satisfactory.

I didn't cover evolution and natural selection until secondary school (at the age of 13-14). At least, not properly. My primary school did mention Charles Darwin, but they described him in an incredibly biased and negative way. Our teacher told us that Darwin was a "lying sinner who was great mates with the devil, he was a stupid fool". I definitely didn't know what a mutation was back then.

Unfortunately, I didn't have many interests at the time, so I didn't do much research outside of that school. I was depressed, and as a result fairly unmotivated / closed off to the world. Mainly because I was being physically and psychologically bullied (the teachers refused to intervene), neglected somewhat (our teachers would leave us unattended sometimes during lunch), unfair expectations (I had to look after the younger children when the teachers left us, it was a lot of responsibility) and my school counsellor gave me self-esteem issues that spiralled into self-hatred because of how she treated me. That place sure took a toll on my mental health. I only started to actually enjoy my education when I was sixteen. Everything before that was just... 8O. The education system is a mess.


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magz
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29 Nov 2019, 2:24 am

8O :wall:
It seems there are some upsides of living in a post-communist state.
If things like you describe happened here, the press would not let them live and the departament of education would plow them flat.


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29 Nov 2019, 10:00 am

magz wrote:
8O :wall:
It seems there are some upsides of living in a post-communist state.
If things like you describe happened here, the press would not let them live and the departament of education would plow them flat.


I’m thinking about moving in the not too distant future. I think that the problem with where I’m currently living is that it’s very homogeneous. Teachers probably couldn’t get away with saying such things if their students were more diverse. The kids would talk to their parents, and their parents would launch a complaint.

Of course, this stuff really shouldn’t happen at all. Some of the problem might lie in the excessive easiness of attaining education degrees which sometimes attracts subpar individuals. When I was in college, I heard multiple students say that they were going into education because they weren’t smart enough for anything else. Yikes! (Of course, many were legitimately passionate about teaching which is great!)

A particular future teacher I talked to when I was in college made the statement: “I’m going to say ‘Merry Christmas’ to each student no matter what his or her religious beliefs are.” :evil: With such an outlook, who knows what she’s presently teaching kids...

If a teacher is going to teach fourth grade, he needs to have a firm enough basis in a wide variety of topics (including science) that he (or she) can answer a question that a student of that age group will ask or at least be smart enough to look it up with the class which would teach research on top of whatever the question might be.

This is all just basic stuff which any individual with a little common sense should know. At any rate, I’d advocate increasing the difficulty of education degrees and assessments (I probably could’ve passed many of the Praxis tests in middle school), incorporate more sensitivity training, and ensure that teachers have basic knowledge in a wide variety of topics, and in-depth knowledge of their main subject.



magz
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29 Nov 2019, 1:47 pm

With the Christmas greetings, I think political correctness twisted it in a bit strange way: the only person in one of my husband's ex-workplaces who didn't have any problem with saying Merry Christmas to everyone was... Egyptian Muslim.


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29 Nov 2019, 2:05 pm

Yeah, saying "Merry Christmas" is not as bad as denying evolution in class.

But that's a whole nother can of worms.

But even in my day in circa 1970 we had an English teacher, who doubled as a history teacher, who said that "the Mississippi River begins in Montana", and from an anectdote she told it was obvious that she thought that the American Civil War was before the Crimean War. I knew at the time that the Mississippi began in Minnesota, and that it was Mississippi's tributary, the Missouri, that comes out of the Rockies in Montana, and that the Crimean was in the 1850's, and the American Civil War was in the 1860's.



magz
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29 Nov 2019, 2:17 pm

Mainstream Catholics celebrate Christmas but don't deny evolution.
They don't even deny that Christmas is not really the birthday of Jesus, just the day of celebrating his birth.
I'm from Poland, you know. I used to be a Catholic theology geek.


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29 Nov 2019, 2:25 pm

When I was growing up, one of my elementary school teachers taught reincarnation. She spent a hour describing how her father died and was reincarnated as an insect. She forbad everyone in the class from killing an insect because it might be a loved one from the past.


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29 Nov 2019, 7:58 pm

Actually oddly enough even believing that "the dinosaurs all died in the flood" is a bit of a heresy among YECs.

Even THAT would be too logical for some strict Fundies (the dinos existed, but all died in the flood because Noah didn't rescue them- at least that would make some superficial sense).

But the Bible doesn't say that Noah left animals off the Ark.

Ken Haim, the founder and CEO of the "Ark Experience" park in Kentucky, says that Noah wrangled dinosaurs, and put them on the Ark as well. And that dinos (apparently) survived on Earth for sometime after Noah's flood (in 2300 BC according to the King James).He has dinosaurs as passengers on his replica Ark. Some Creationist books even show Jesus riding saddled up tricerotopses.



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29 Nov 2019, 8:10 pm

magz wrote:
With the Christmas greetings, I think political correctness twisted it in a bit strange way: the only person in one of my husband's ex-workplaces who didn't have any problem with saying Merry Christmas to everyone was... Egyptian Muslim.


Lots of kids who don’t celebrate Christmas are uncomfortable when someone wishes them a Merry Christmas. It made me feel uncomfortable and like even more of an outsider than I already was, and I’ve heard the same from Jewish and Muslim students.

It’s a bit grating. It would really suck when someone would ask me if I had been a good girl that year and if Santa had brought me something nice. Awkward!

“Happy Holidays“ or “have a nice vacation” are more inclusive terms to use with students who may have diverse religious backgrounds. Religious holidays should really be kept out of public schools as much as possible.