NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2011/11/11
(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)
Dear Friends of NCSE, A new poll suggests that challenges to climate change education are common in the classroom. And two recent webcast symposia on human evolution are now available on-line.
NSTA POLL ON CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION Challenges to climate change education are common in the classroom, according to a poll of science educators conducted by the National Science Teachers Association. Although 60% of respondents to the on-line poll reported that they were not concerned about how climate change is taught in their school, 82% reported having faced skepticism about climate change and climate change education from students, 54% reported having faced such skepticism from parents, and 26% reported having faced such skepticism from administrators. The NSTA poll also invited respondents to describe their particular concerns about how climate change is taught in their school, list specific barriers and challenges teaching climate change, and explain how they have altered their pedagogical strategies in response to criticism or skepticism about climate change; a sampling from their responses -- including comments from teachers who accept, are agnostic about, and reject the idea of climate change -- appears in NSTA's article (November 7, 2011) describing the poll. NSTA's poll was informally conducted among its members, however, as was a similar survey conducted among the members of National Earth Sciences Teachers Association in 2011. (NESTA's report on its survey is expected to be published in November 2011. As NCSE previously reported, NESTA's executive director Roberta Johnson told Science, "Evolution is still the big one, but climate change is catching up.") A rigorous survey of the prevalence and nature of climate change skepticism in the classroom apparently remains to be performed. For NSTA's report on the poll, visit: http://nsta.org/publications/news/story.aspx?id=59035 For NCSE's discussion of the Science article, visit: http://ncse.com/news/2011/08/teachers-feeling-heat-over-climate-change-006827 HUMAN EVOLUTION ON-LINE Two recent webcast symposia on human evolution are now available on-line. First, Bones, Stones, and Genes: The Origin of Modern Humans -- the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Holiday Lectures on Science for 2011 -- is now available for on-demand viewing (and on DVD as well). The lectures address such questions as: Where and when did humans arise? What distinguishes us from other species? Did our distant ancestors look and behave like us? Featured are NCSE Supporter Tim White of the University of California, Berkeley, speaking on "Human evolution and the nature of science"; Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania speaking on "Genetics of human origins and adaptation"; John Shea of Stony Brook University speaking on "Stone tools and the evolution of human behavior"; and White again on "Hominid paleobiology." Second, Changing Humans in a Changing Environment -- a symposium on evolution held at the 2011 meeting of the NABT and sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center -- is also now available for on-demand viewing, along with a suite of educational resources. Featured are Rick Potts of the Smithsonian Institution speaking on "Evolution in an era of dramatic climate change"; Jill Pruetz of Iowa State University speaking on "What can chimpanzees tell us about human evolution?"; Susan Antón of New York University speaking on "Becoming human in a changing world: the early evolution of Homo"; and John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, speaking on "New discoveries from ancient genomes." For Bones, Stones, and Genes, visit: http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/lectures/index.html For information about ordering Bones, Stones, and Genes on DVD, visit: http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/ordermaterials.html For Changing Humans in a Changing Environment, visit: http://nescent.org/media/NABTSymposium2011.php For the educational resources for Changing humans, visit: http://www.nescent.org/media/NABT2011/index.html Thanks for reading. And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- http://ncse.com -- where you can always find the latest news on evolution education and threats to it. -- Sincerely, Glenn Branch Deputy Director National Center for Science Education, Inc. 420 40th Street, Suite 2 Oakland, CA 94609-2509 510-601-7203 x305 fax: 510-601-7204 800-290-6006 firstname.lastname@example.org http://ncse.com Read Reports of the NCSE on-line: http://reports.ncse.com Subscribe to NCSE's free weekly e-newsletter: http://groups.google.com/group/ncse-news NCSE is on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/evolution.ncse http://www.youtube.com/NatCen4ScienceEd http://twitter.com/ncse NCSE's work is supported by its members. Join today! http://ncse.com/join