Should you teach something as fact if you disagree with it personally?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Cerek, Apr 25, 2011.

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  1. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Thank you, Ryan. You said it much better than I.

    I'm a Creationist as well, but I'm working on my Middle School Science certification. Eventually, I will most likely be teaching science, as well as math. When that happens, I will teach the facts about evolution (as you have done here). If pressed, I will point out the flaws (or scientific hole) in Darwins theory in regards to common descent.

    EdEd - Awesome post as always. You also nailed my own sentiments exactly. Yes, I do try to "lead" the discussion when it occurs, but most often, I do that by playing the Devil's Advocate and supporting or suggesting an opposing view - just as I asked some members in the Pledge thread if they would still recite and/or respect/value it if it read "one nation under Allah" (never did get an answer that...:( ).

    Anyway, it is rare that I actually state my own, personal opinion on any topic in class. Instead, I'm far more likely to take the opposite view to make the kids offer support and/or counterarguments - which encourages their critical thinking.
     
  2. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    This is nearly exactly how I hold discussions/debates in my room. When we're having a discussion or debate I'm not participating in the discussion; I'm leading it. Therefore, I'll be sure to ask questions that get my students to think of many sides of the arguement. Sometimes those questions support MY opinion of the subject but many times they don't. I can help my kids to come to their own opinions without offering my own.
     
  3. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    This is all a matter of personal opinion but I believe this would be inappropriate. You being a creationist doesn't matter nor does it belong in public education. This brings religion and politics into public education.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Teach what is required by your standards in a non-biased way. Text books can have bias...and are not always aligned with school or district content standards.
     
  5. John Lee

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    Well, it's funny that you guys took to the term Nazi to sidetrack the thread. I'd like to illustrate a point (using Nazis), and how maybe it's our obligation to express things that aren't necessarily facts, but are as vitally important.

    Invariably in our study of the Nazis, we get a treating of their use of propaganda as a means to further their goals. But really, after that... I can't think of many other areas, where propaganda is treated in a meaningful way. This relates, because we live in the most media-rich time in the history of the world. And when you realize the power of "propaganda" (as it was used in Nazi Germany) and you realize where we are as a society, with media and a ruling class that utilizes it--I think any person with the proper understanding, is doing a disservice to his/her students to not express "opinions" in not relaying concerns, parallels (in history), and other "opinions" as they relate.

    Think about it: Do we EVER hear the word propaganda in regards to our own gov't? Yet you would be awfully foolish to think that it's not used on you and me everyday, with regard to our news we watch, our TV programming, the internet, etc.

    I used propaganda as an example to illustrate one of an endless array of topics in Social Studies, where I think it is an obligation to express things that may not be a part of the official curriculum (i.e. opinion). If you are teaching Nazi history, should you make a parallels to things we do today, if you see them as such? (Some writers have made striking parallels between things happening today and what happened in Germany--those things would NEVER be included in any US history book, but they exist nonetheless.) That would all most certainly be opinion, but if it is a viewpoint you have as an observant person, isn't it practically your obligation as a teacher to share that viewpoint with your students?
     
  6. catnfiddle

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    John, I actually taught a big unit on propaganda in my English class. It was wildly popular as we dissected print and film ads for their use of literary and propaganda techniques. It would have been extremely interesting to play Triumph of the Will for my kids. I get creeped out by how beautifully made it is.
     
  7. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

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    I think this is a good example, but teachers could turn this into a guided discussion without necessarily expressing their own opinion on the matter. Ask students, "Do we see propaganda in our lives today? Where?" If students are hesitant, give them examples: "Do we see propaganda in advertising? From our own government?" I think you can get some great discussion out of the students without having to express your own opinion.
     
  8. cateste

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    I agree w/mopar, discuss all sides and let kids decide for themselves but don't put your slant on any issue. If you find a lot to disagree w/in your texts/St. standards teach in a private school where you feel more comfortable.
     
  9. timsterino

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    I absolutely agree with this. If you want to teach creationism, do so in a private school. I would not want you teaching my children your religious ideologies in the public school classroom.
     
  10. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    There are not many things that I teach in 4th grade where my opinion really comes into play. When there is a discussion of something that opinions are used, I see no problem with a teacher expressing their opinion right along with students. I do tell students that it is my opinion and everyone; teachers, students, parents, etc. are allowed their opinions, but we must be respectful of everyone. Students ask me all the time what I think of different things, so I tell them.
    As for the comments about having my own evidence to back up my opinion on a "factual" topic. I did not do the research, but others have. When it comes to the age of earth and how/when certain geological formations happened, one name for much of the research is Russ Miller. I personally have always believed that age of the Earth is much shorter than what scientists say, for religious reasons, but the work by Russ Miller ( I believe that is right, forget the name of his books), was just more evidence to back up what I have believed.
    Again, I don't think saying "some people believe this" undermines an entire text or book. Most of the students I have had who ask me about it, understand that it is only specific things I say that about and it is for religious reasons.
    Most of the students who get to know me understand that my religious beliefs do guide some of the things I say and my attitude toward certain things. Also, I have found that a majority of students I have had over the years also attend church and understand the idea of relgious beliefs having an impact. Even though they may not completely comprehend how or why all of the time.
     
  11. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I do not believe she was saying she teaches creationism. I believe she was stating that she teaches the parts of evolution that are proven to be fact, but not all aspects. The parts of it that have serious holes in the process and research, she would point out those flaws.
    There was no comment about teaching creationism.
    I completely agree with this idea. At the same time, if we teach evolution (one theory for how the Earth began), I don't understand why we can't teach creationism (what many believe to be another theory about how Earth began).
    These are basically the 2 possibilities. I don't understand how we can teach one and not the opposing view.
     
  12. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    Are you talking about my comment or Cerek's? The 'she' throws me off since I believe Cerek is a man.

    We can't teach creationism because of the separation of church and state in public schools. I can't even believe that you would question why we don't or can't.

    Creationism isn't a theory. There are no concrete explanations, evidence or hypotheses. Theories require evidence.

    We're teaching science not whatever fantasies, dreams, hopes or ideas you want to be true.
     
  13. HMM

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    And being a Ph.D. evolutionary biologist I'm sure she knows what the 'holes' truly are.


    This is the reason I think that evolution should not be taught until college. Too many people have only a basic knowledge of the subject but believe that they know all the problems the theory has.
     
  14. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I was talking about Cerek's, if Cerek is a man, that is my mistake for some reason I had been thinking woman all this time.
    I understand that we have the seperation of church and state, that does not mean that I completely agree with this to the extent that we have it.
    Also I really do not appreciate your dispresect that you used in your last sentence. That is unnecessary, dissrespectful, and it also makes me feel bad for you.
    And that thing called a Bible, to me, is concrete evidence.
     
  15. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I would be fine if we waited to teach evolution until college. Atleast in college the professors could take time to discuss creationism as well.
     
  16. HMM

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    And why would a professor talk about creationism in a science class :confused:
     
  17. LUCHopefulTeach

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    The bible is not concrete evidence it's literature and stories. That statement is ridiculous.

    Well don't worry- after reading too many of your posts on various threads- the feeling is mutual.
     
  18. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Its one thing to share your opinion, it is another to insult others on here. I do not believe that is what this discussion board is for. But it seems to be all you are doing now.
    You also seem to have the need to insult the intelligence of the billions of people who believe in the Bible.
    Instead of doing this, could you try sticking to the discussion topic.
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    If my child were in a K-12 science class that taught creationism, I'd be pretty upset. If it were part of the state standards, I'd petition to have those standards changed. If it were done on the whim of the teacher, I'd petition to have that teacher removed from a science position.
     
  20. LUCHopefulTeach

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    This will be my last post that is directed towards anything you say.

    You insulted me first. Your posts are negative about your job and your students. It's not all I am doing on this board. I'm not the only one who is off topic- in fact I don't even believe my point is off topic.

    I have not insulted anyone who believes in the Bible.

    However, the Bible is not concrete evidence. The Bible is not proof or evidence for a theory.
     
  21. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I understand that idea Caesar, what I guess I don't understand is why people who object to idea of "teaching" both sides.
    I don't know of any other options besides Evolution and Creationism. I believe that chances are good that one of them is correct, why would we not want both views put out together and encourage the discussion of both if we want our children to come up with ideas/thoughts/and beliefs of their own.

    Instead of having to avoid what someone doesn't agree with (what this topic is about), we would be able to put both views out there and spark discussion.
    Just an idea, and if you have comments about this idea, please do not just post, the law says no, dumb idea, etc.
     
  22. HMM

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    And what version of creationism would that be?
     
  23. husker_blitz

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    There is Intelligent Design, which is different from creationism.
     
  24. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I looked back at everything I have said on this thread and could not find anywhere that I insulted you, if I did somewhere I apologize, that is by no means my intention on here at all.
    Yes I have had negative posts towards my job and students at times. If you also have noticed, not everything I say is negative about the job though, I do have other things to say, but I guess you choose to focus on the negative.
    When I said that is all you are doing now, I meant right now here on this thread (those most recent posts).
    As for the insult on those who believe in the Bible. Your comment about believing it to be concrete or anything more than stories is rediculous, that is insulting all Christians. It is one thing to say you don't believe it, but to say those who do are rediculous, that in my book is an insult.
     
  25. callmebob

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    Getting technical is not my point. It also makes me sad to hear how many teachers out there are so against religion. I guess where I live, it is much the other way.

    This brings a new topic to mind.
     
  26. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't see the point of "teaching" "both sides" because I personally believe that creationism is a big joke and utterly ridiculous to anyone with a shred of common sense. This is my personal belief.

    To me it would be like someone demanding that we teach the belief that smoking is good for you because it's fun, right alongside teaching the dangers of smoking. Surely some people believe that smoking is fun. If we're all presenting everyone's beliefs as equally legitimate and valid, then let's do it with other issues as well. Racism is fine because "some people believe" that people of a particular race are ____. Sexual harassment is okay because "some people believe" that it's no big deal. Theft is a-okay because "some people believe" that it's a quick way to get easy money. Etc.
     
  27. HMM

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    ID is really no different than creationism. That is why it can't be taught in public schools (Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District)
     
  28. bandnerdtx

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    I would also like to know which version of creation people think it is appropriate to teach in a science class. Shall we present them all? And if not, why not?

    Secondly, the theory of evolution does NOT address how the earth was created. If you believe it does, and you are a science teacher, you really need to reevaluate what you are doing in your classroom.
     
  29. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't think it's fair to say that refusing to believe in creationism is the same as being "against religion". There are many, many, many religious folks who don't believe in creationism.
     
  30. HMM

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    I think it is an important point. There are more than 2 possibilities since there are hundreds of creation stories.
     
  31. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    You both misunderstand my intention. I will teach the facts of evolution as listed in the book, despite being a Creationist. As for any shortcomings in the Theory, RyanS addressed it better than I.

    Pointing out the flaws or holes (mentioned by RyanS) that are supported by empirical evidence is NOT the same as "teaching Creationism". It is, instead, following the very letter of scientific approach. It is not an either/or approach. Just because I would point out weaknesses in the Theory does not mean I am going to offer my own views as an alternative. It just means I am pointing out both the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of the Theory. After that, I allow the kids to decide for themselves.


    Oh...btw Bob....I am a man. *guess I need to find a more manly-looking avatar* :D;)
     
  32. husker_blitz

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    I've read enough to consider the two separate. Although I'm not advocating either being taught in school. That is what churches are for.

    Exactly. I'll have to search for the guy's name but he has a very interesting point of view as a Christian working in the evolutionary science areas. One of his presentations is on youtube.
     
  33. LUCHopefulTeach

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    I knew you were a man! :)
     
  34. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Again, are those comments necessary. I may feel the same way about people who don't believe, but I am not going to say that they are ridiculous and have no common sense. I just think its rude.
     
  35. Cerek

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    I never claimed to be a Ph.D. evolutionary biologist, nor do I know many middle/high school teachers that are. That doesn't mean I can't recognize certain gaps or weaknesses (such as those pointed out by Ryan) when I see them.

    If you are a Ph.D. evolutionary biologist, I applaud your dedication and achievement.

    If you aren't, then that was just a snarky comment for the sake of being snarky.

    Anyway, I don't want to see the thread closed, so I will just ask everyone to avoid veiled or direct insults or rude comments towards those they disagree with. We are having a very healthy discussion from both sides and I would like to see it continue.
     
  36. Shanoo

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    I wouldn't have a problem with a teacher teaching my child both evolution and creationism. However, I would have a problem if the teacher chose ONE creationist story among the MANY that exist. In my mind, if you're gonna teach one, to be fair, you have to teach them all. That would then change the class from a science class to a religion class. Not that I have a problem with classes on religion (really, if my child wants to learn about religion, I'm not gonna stop them), however I want my child learning science in science class.
     
  37. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Not intending to be rude, I'm just sharing my personal beliefs. Which is what I thought we were talking about here....? I really, honestly believe that people who adhere to the idea of creationism are silly and lack common sense. If you happen to fall into that group, then I'm sorry, but it doesn't change my personal belief. You don't need to worry about what I think. I certainly don't worry what a bunch of creationists feel about me.
     
  38. HMM

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    I know that...

    My Ph.D. is in Mathematical Statistics, though I have published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

    It might be considered to be a little snarky.

    Whenever I hear people talking about the 'problems' with evolution I cringe a little. I'm not saying the theory is perfect, but the typical issues that people have with the theory are usually not problems to the scientific community.
     
  39. Cerek

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    Now you are being rude. Can you not just say you disagree without insulting the intelligence of those that do?

    If you can't, and insist on making comments like this, we won't be discussing any opinions because the thread will be closed.

    So - once again - I will ask everyone to focus on the issues and arguments offered and refrain from comments or opinions about the posters themselves. :hugs:
     
  40. JustMe

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    Wow, I really surprised by some of the rather rude comments intended for those who believe in creationism, or the Bible for that matter. :(
     
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