Friday, April 18, 2014

Jesus, The Easter Bunny and Mommy's Hoo Hoo

There are a lot of factors contributing to the demographic shift in this historical map but the rapid shift in the last decade might have a lot to do with the crisis of education in America. This map shows a relative center of economic "gravity". As Eastern Asians become more affluent and upwardly mobile, they have expanded the educational opportunities for their young population who will create the economy of the future. Meanwhile, back on the ranch, this study, published in the latest edition of Evolution: Education and Outreach, actually attempts to illustrate the utter failure of the religious right shackled curriculum of High School biology in say, uhhh, Oklahoma. Students come out of the system actually knowing less than they did when they started it.
The authors of the study, Tony Yates and Edmund Marek, tested biology teachers and students in 32 Oklahoma public high schools via a survey the pair called “the Biological Evolution Literacy Survey.” The survey was administered to the teachers first, to get a benchmark of their grasp of evolutionary theory. The survey was then administered twice to the students — once before they took the required Biology I course, and once after they had completed it.
Yates and Marek found that prior to instruction, students possessed 4,812 misconceptions about evolutionary theory; after they completed the Biology I course, they possessed 5,072. Of the 475 students surveyed, only 216 decreased the number of misconceptions they believed, as opposed to 259 who had more of them when they finished the course than before they took it.
“There is little doubt,” they argued, “that teachers may serve as sources of biological evolution-related misconceptions or, at the very least, propagators of existing misconceptions.”

Despite holding more misconceptions about evolutionary theory after completing the course, students “presumed themselves to be more knowledgeable concerning biological evolutionary concepts following instruction as opposed to prior to instruction.” They were more confident, then, that they understood evolutionary theory, even though they completed the course more confused about its basic tenets than they were when they began it.
This may be
because “about one-fourth of Oklahoma public school life-science teachers place moderate or strong emphasis on creationism.” In fact, two students scored higher initially on the Biological Evolution Literacy Survey than their respective teachers.“There is little doubt,” they argued, “that teachers may serve as sources of biological evolution-related misconceptions or, at the very least, propagators of existing misconceptions.”
So, the results? A generation of students who at least have the privilege of attending schools being brainwashed and manipulated for political/economic motives by a deluded conservative system into actual intellectual incompetency. Could you imagine a kid who was totally manipulated by creationists to actually want to become an astronaut? Could you imagine a creationist astronaut? Your assignment: tell me if there have ever been any astronauts who are anti science creationists! Just having a belief in god doesn't count here. I can only imagine this conversation between a kid from this faulty Oklahoma uneducational system trying to get into a real university and major in science:

College admission counselor: I see you're from Oklahoma and you want to major in science. Why is that? 
Oklahoma teenager: I want to learn more about how Jesus helps the Easter Bunny make a baby in a mommy's hoo hoo. 
College admission counselor: I see.......wait, what?

1 comment:

Ol'Buzzard said...

The US is educational complacent. We are so convinced of our exceptionalism that we feel there is no need to be concerned - as a results ignorance is running rampage and facts and fancy are interchangeable.
As an educator I am appalled by the lack of basic knowledge of our population in general and young people specifically.
We have people in federal and state government that have never taught in a classroom a day in their life deciding educational standards and curriculum. The answer would be to turn education over to educators - no one knows better what the problems are and solutions than the class room teachers...and they are left out of the equation.
the Ol'Buzzard