From EurekAlert, a terribly dangerous finding:
A study of college freshmen in the United States and in China found that Chinese students know more science facts than their American counterparts — but both groups are nearly identical when it comes to their ability to do scientific reasoning.
Neither group is especially skilled at reasoning, however, and the study suggests that educators must go beyond teaching science facts if they hope to boost students’ reasoning ability.
What’s the danger? Evolution, says Michael Ruse, is a fact, Fact, FACT! And it is the facts that must be taught in high school! Meanwhile Texas is under condemnation for approving science standards that include being able to “analyze and evaluate” scientific theories.
The article later notes,
How to boost scientific reasoning? Bao points to inquiry-based learning, where students work in groups, question teachers and design their own investigations. This teaching technique is growing in popularity worldwide.
The danger, in other words, is that this finding might actually apply to evolutionary studies. Maybe just teaching fact, Fact, FACT! isn’t necessarily the best thing for science students. And to question teachers? My daughter sat through six weeks of evolution studies last year and was never allowed to ask a question. (We have discussed this with the principal, and confirmed that this was the case.)
But an unquestioning, unchallenged, party-line approach to teaching evolution is supposed to save America’s science future from going down the tubes. That’s the line from the NCSE. Does NCSE really stand for National Center for Science Education?