Monday, October 27, 2008

Good News Again!

I've been off working on my portfolio -- I'm going up for promotion to Associate Professor, which is actually sort of interesting and almost fun, albeit a ton of work. It involves getting together everything I have done for the past six years, and writing "narratives" for the promotion committee about how I teach and how I "innovate" in the classroom, explaining my assignments and how I respond to assessments that show my teaching isn't working -- anyway, it's turning out to be cool, since I get to talk (write) about what I like best, teaching and how it works, only, yikes, exhausting?

And everything has to be documented.

And put in a binder, which requires operating a three-hole punch.

And tidy. I could be better at tidy.

And it's due November 1.

So I've been occupied.

But here is some good news I have found for you: although it did not look like good news at first, since you'll see at the opening that it confirms more Right-Wing Religious Parents indoctrinating their kids against science/evolution (evil-ution, as my students often spell it); but look how the instructors are dealing with the problem: wisely!

A few years ago, Pratt started holding meetings – open to parents, students, church members and others – to address their questions about evolution. She holds the annual session a few weeks before she begins the unit and gets about 200 people.

“It used to be that the whole unit was a struggle, and we were butting heads,” Pratt said. “This meeting helps everyone understand that science teachers are not the enemy. Now, the kids are showing up ready to learn about evolution.”

Other teachers said they try to fix students’ misconceptions. They explain how humans and apes share a common ancestor that no longer exists, not that humans and apes evolved from one another. They say that while “theory” may describe a hunch in everyday language, in science it is defined as an explanation supported by factual evidence to describe events that occur in our world.

That's how our side wins: enlightenment.

Their side has fear and ignorance. Our side has education. We will always win in the end. (Well, that's my hope, at least.)


Anonymous said...

Best wishes for you. You were one of the best Professor's during my time at the University.

dorki said...

Good luck with the application. Good teachers are very needed in the US and they should be properly recognized and rewarded.

About the evil-loution thing, I hope that can make a dent in the problem. I have witnessed and been fed in my youth much of the tripe you are dealing with. Luckily, I had educated parents.