Earlier this year, I wrote about how we need to start calling out “science teachers” that don’t understand or even believe that what they are teaching is correct. The title of the article was "EDUCATIONAL MALPRACTICE: TIME TO CALL OUT THE FAKE SCIENCE TEACHERS"
Essentially, I said that if you do not think evolution is a real thing, and if you teach Biology, then you are committing educational malpractice.
As follow up to that article, a survey that came out this week of science teachers in Oklahoma that showed a significant number of them simply did not understand evolution.
The survey showed:
- 25 percent strongly or somewhat agree with the statement, “Scientific evidence indicates that dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time in the past.”
- 36.8 percent strongly or somewhat disagree with the statement, “Complex structures such as the eye could have been formed by evolution.”
- 40.8 percent strongly or somewhat agree with the statement, “‘Survival of the fittest’ means basically that ‘only the strong survive’.”
- 17.1 percent strongly or somewhat disagree with the statement, “The earth is old enough for evolution to have occurred.” (And, 3.9 percent were “undecided.”)
- 32.9 percent strongly or somewhat agree with the statement, “Evolution is a total random process.”
We cannot say we are professionals if we don’t even understand what we are teaching. Evolution is one of the fundamentals of science. A lack of understanding of a fundamental of science is like having a mechanic that does not understand how an engine works, or a football coach that does not know what an offense is.
As the authors of the study say:
"As teachers are critical determiners of the quality of classroom instruction, it is vital that they be capable of making professionally responsible instructional and curricular decisions. For biology teachers to make such decisions about evolution, they must possess a thorough knowledge of evolutionary theory and its powerful role in the discipline of biology.
Second, when teachers hold science misconceptions, they may critically impede student conceptual development of scientific explanations. Teachers with misconception-laced subject knowledge will convey inaccurate or incomplete ideas to their students, resulting in a less than accurate biological evolution education, likely fraught with errors…. Therefore, teachers may be a primary factor in the acquisition, propagation and perpetuation of students’ biological evolution-related misconceptions.”
We have got to call these teachers out and we have got to either educate them or get them out of the classroom. Come on Oklahoma. Lead the way!Here is the entire survey and its results: