The Institute of Education at the University of London has told science teachers to respect their pupils’ views on creationism.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Michael Reiss, professor of science education at the institute, said although he was “certainly not” advocating the teaching of creationism in science lesson, tutors should treat such views “respectfully”.
The aim is not to “ridicule” pupils who may have come from families with strong views on creationism, Mr Reiss stated, but to give them a greater understanding of the scientific explanation of the universe.
“One approach is to say we’re not going to discuss that here; you can go to your history teacher, your RE teacher, your philosophy teacher,” he remarked.
However, Mr Reiss told the programme he would prefer science teachers to allow such discussions in their lessons.
A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families, told the BBC that creationism is not a scientific theory or testable as scientific fact and should therefore not be included in the science curriculum.
National Union of Teachers
From my school days and all the way through university their have been kids from religious families who have tried to argue with the science teacher. I have seen all the responses from simply ‘Well this is not the place for this discussion and you will be tested on this (what I am going to teach you)’ to one university lecturer who very quickly got the subject of religion by announcing to a room of ~200 after his name and course title something along the lines of ‘now I know there will be a number of religious nuts among you who will want to debate in favour of your book but let me make this clear that I do not care what you’ve been told to believe you are here to learn about ……… If you don’t like learning or hearing about … then please don’t turn up to lectures and in turn I will fail you from this course, but if you stay then shut up and keep your views to yourself as WE are all hear to learn.’
He didn’t get a standing ovation, but I clapped!