Learning Science vs. Doing Science
Why the Texas State Standards Won't Do
The state of Texas has developed a new set of standards for elementary, middle, and high school science education. ( "Retooled Texas Standards Raise Unease Among Science Groups," April 8, 2009.) Always a controversial undertaking because of the issue of the theory of natural selection and its evolutionary consequences, the Texas board sought to approach the task by drawing on contemporary ideas that the study of science should examine both the strengths and limitations of science.
Much of the comment about the standards has focused on a requirement to “analyze and evaluate a variety of fossil types, such as transitional fossils, proposed transitional fossils” (italics added), and so on. Texas’ detractors have rightly pointed out that it is not the function of school science education to engage in the discussion of speculative evidence. School science, after all, deals in well-established, consensually-agreed-upon knowledge.
Much less comment has involved the assumptions implicit in the statement...
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