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> The teaching of EVOLUTION in primary schools
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HausAlone
post Mar 24 2015, 08:52 PM
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In the new National Curriculum that has been introduced into every primary school this past year, evolution is part of the core Science curriculum for Key Stage 2. We had a lecture on the teaching of evolution today and it sprung up some interesting discussions.

My stance was that if a child, whilst doing work in a Science lesson on the creation and development of the world, answered a question by stating that "god made it", i would mark it wrong and explain to the children that he/she was incorrect with this. This seems brash but it is inline with what the national government documents state (and just so happen to align with my own views). Just like a child saying that the number 4 was the most important number, and therefore 1+1=4 in a maths lesson. Obviously this particular topic requires a more sensitive approach because religion is involved, but what do you think about it?

Should school be required by law to teach evolution to children under the age of 11? What problems could this cause, and moreso, because it is happening, what are the benefits?
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5 Silas Frøkner
post Mar 24 2015, 08:55 PM
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The fact that creationism is taught at all in the 21st century horrifies me. I didn't know that it wasn't already part of the curriculum although I cannot remember being that young!!!

I'm definitely for this change and it should have happened a long time ago.
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Colm
post Mar 24 2015, 08:58 PM
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Religion should be taught at home by parents that choose to "indoctrinate" their children. Whether evolution is true or not, it is what is currently what most scientists hold true and should be taught in science class until such times as there is a change in scientific knowledge - if that should ever happen.


Teaching evolution shouldn't necessarily happen at primary school if science is not an subject of primary schools in a particular country.


This post has been edited by AntoineTTe: Mar 24 2015, 08:59 PM
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Rooney
post Mar 24 2015, 09:00 PM
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Well if someone says 'God created us' they are wrong. Until someone provides evidence otherwise!

But I think perhaps it is too young an age, but on the flip side - surely children must be thinking 'where did we come from' at a young age, so maybe providing an answer is a good. Hmm.
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Colm
post Mar 24 2015, 09:02 PM
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QUOTE(Rooney @ Mar 24 2015, 09:00 PM) *
Well if someone says 'God created us' they are wrong. Until someone provides evidence otherwise!



But that contradicts my "deeply held beliefs" and infringes on my "freedom of religion".


/sarcasm
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Nadolig Llawen!
post Mar 24 2015, 09:04 PM
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Whether you can prove things or not, I don't think the beliefs of children that young should be ridiculed. a little sensitivity is needed.
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Colm
post Mar 24 2015, 09:07 PM
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I wouldn't say ridiculed. I would say, corrected. But parents should be made aware when enrolling a child the policy of the school so that they can anticipate any conflicting information that might come from school regarding evolution.
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Nadolig Llawen!
post Mar 24 2015, 09:09 PM
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I think yr 3 to 6 should learn it. Bit too complex for the younger ones.
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Slade
post Mar 24 2015, 09:09 PM
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I think it's absolutely the way to go. With forever rising levels of secularisation this was bound to happen anyway. The children can still have the freedom to believe in whatever they want to, as long as it is made clear that this is just the popular scientific definition rather than the 'right' one. As long as they are taught it's subjective to every individual then I don't see why not, it's having views forced down their throats that is a bad way of going about it. Evolution is a HUGE part of Science so I think it's crucial, it may be a bit confusing for them, but they can always be addressed with 'nobody knows the concrete truth' and that it's simply a lot of possibilities.
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dancember
post Mar 24 2015, 09:09 PM
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I think it's a good idea, evolution is a widely accepted scientific theory and provides a good explanation for how life is as it is. It's not too hard of a concept to learn too, 'survival of the fittest' makes total sense.
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liamk97
post Mar 24 2015, 09:11 PM
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If atheists have to learn about religion and use that to answer questions in that subject then I see no reason why religious people can't or shouldn't learn about evolution.
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t=SpunderfulXmas
post Mar 24 2015, 09:13 PM
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Shoot me but I don't think it would make much difference tbh ohmy.gif
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Umi
post Mar 24 2015, 09:14 PM
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Being unable to prove something does not mean that thing is false. It means it is a theory. Anyway...

Evolution theory should of course be taught in primary schools. Answering "God did it" to any question in a class should be marked as wrong (unless it's R.E and your questions are particularly facile?) because it's a cop out answer even if the child believes it. It's not harsh to mark that wrong at all because you're testing people on their knowledge of what you've taught them, not whether or not they believe in divine powers. This applies to every subject, pretty much.

Churches are for teaching about religion, schools are for teaching what is most commonly accepted as true about various aspects of the world. And it's been a while since creationism was more commonly accepted than evolution. Only exception I can think of is schools actually designed to be religion-based.
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Doctor Blind
post Mar 24 2015, 09:17 PM
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QUOTE(T Boy @ Mar 24 2015, 09:09 PM) *
I think yr 3 to 6 should learn it. Bit too complex for the younger ones.


Key Stage 2 is Year 3 onwards anyway isn't it?

I agree with the general view that it should be taught as part of Science even in the early part of a child's education and explained as the most accepted explanation for the evolution of mankind - it shouldn't be taught to the exclusion of the understanding of the beliefs of the different faiths however (not that it would anyway of course).
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HausAlone
post Mar 24 2015, 09:18 PM
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QUOTE(Umi @ Mar 24 2015, 09:14 PM) *
Being unable to prove something does not mean that thing is false. It means it is a theory. Anyway...

Evolution theory should of course be taught in primary schools. Answering "God did it" to any question in a class should be marked as wrong (unless it's R.E and your questions are particularly facile?) because it's a cop out answer even if the child believes it. It's not harsh to mark that wrong at all because you're testing people on their knowledge of what you've taught them, not whether or not they believe in divine powers. This applies to every subject, pretty much.

Churches are for teaching about religion, schools are for teaching what is most commonly accepted as true about various aspects of the world. And it's been a while since creationism was more commonly accepted than evolution. Only exception I can think of is schools actually designed to be religion-based.

It is being taught as "Evolution Theory" but based on facts, so apparently the "theory" bit is there because there are differing views within the field of evolution, not that there are alternatives to what animals and plants go through over millions of years. This is for the Science curriculum of course, and i support that. The evolution of animals is a fact and based on concrete evidence in fossils, so to get children to investigate fossils and learn about the world being millions of years old at such a young age is a very exciting thing!

Religion based schools will need to uphold this curriculum too, but as in any school, there is manipulation and greater focus is given to areas of the curriculum that best suit the school. If OFSTED decided to visit a Catholic school for example, and ask how this part of the Science curriculum was being taught, the school would have to provide evidence by law. Some schools adopt different ways of approaching the curriculum, but the subject matter has to be covered at some point.

QUOTE(T Boy @ Mar 24 2015, 09:09 PM) *
I think yr 3 to 6 should learn it. Bit too complex for the younger ones.

It's been added to the Key Stage 2 curriculum (along with inheritance), so children younger than Year 3 wouldn't have to do it.
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Winter Wombatlan...
post Mar 24 2015, 09:19 PM
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The theory of evolution is generally seen as where everything comes from (on a scientific level at least) which is pretty much the root of science, biology definitely. You can't really go into GCSE or even KS3 level not having learnt about it at all, even if it's not in amazing detail. I don't think it would cause that much confusion as Science and Religious Education are, after all, different subjects, and I think the pupils should know that writing 'god did it' for a Science question would be wrong as that shouldn't be discussed at all in relation to Science.

This post has been edited by Chez Wombat: Mar 24 2015, 09:21 PM
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Brett-Butler
post Mar 24 2015, 09:21 PM
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I see no issue with the teaching of evolution to kids at that age. I imagine that children at stage 2 level would be able to grasp the basics of it at that age, and I imagine that at that level only the basics are covered.

As for the conflicts with religion, I hope you do all realise that the majority of major religions accept the theory of evolution as fact (It's even in the catechism of the Catholic Church), and don't see any conflict between it and belief in God, and the only people who insist that it does are the fundamentalist Christians (and to a lesser extent, Muslims) on one side, and the fundamentalist Dawkinseans on the other.

As many learned people will put it, evolution may explain the "how", but it does not, and can not, explain the "why".
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Colm
post Mar 24 2015, 09:27 PM
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Why what?
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Brett-Butler
post Mar 24 2015, 09:28 PM
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QUOTE(AntoineTTe @ Mar 24 2015, 10:27 PM) *
Why what?


Why the world came to be.
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Colm
post Mar 24 2015, 09:29 PM
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QUOTE(Brett-Butler @ Mar 24 2015, 09:28 PM) *
Why the world came to be.



Sorry, I thought we were discussing evolution and you were stating that we dont know why things evolve.
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