BY: ROB HOFFMAN
Alabama has broken ground on new public school standards that will come as a relief to the country’s hopeful progressives. Get your champagne glasses ready, Liberals, Alabama now requires science class to teach evolution and climate change—and a swanky new teaching method to enforce it.
The most interesting aspect of the new curriculum is that students will be required to take a hands on approach to their learning in order to mirror the actual practice of science. Breakthroughs are rarely (if ever) discovered by reading and reiterating a textbook. Instead, students will be expected to experiment and draw independent conclusions based on results.
I don’t see how students would be able to learn this material without doing the science,” he said. “We are trying to teach kids to reason and solve problems,” says Steve Ricks, director of the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative.
Though it may seem like common sense, it’s a bold move for a state that still requires science textbooks to contain stickers articulating that evolution is a “controversial theory,” rather than fact. However, this may change after a public hearing in Montgomery in November to discuss the lifespan of this disclaimer.
As IFL Science points out, many schools in Alabama had already been teaching these subjects before the standards were implemented state wide. Still, putting it in writing represents a symbolic leap of social progress and public perception.
These new standards, approved by the 40-member Alabama State Board of Education, are set to take effect in 2016, eradicating the old 2005 standards that more or less shuffled the concepts of evolution and climate change into the “hippy crackpot” category. The new public-school criteria are prefaced with a much different tone. “The theory of evolution has a role in explaining unity and diversity of life on earth. This theory is substantiated with much direct and indirect evidence. Therefore, this course of study requires our students to understand the principles of the theory of evolution from the perspective of established scientific knowledge. The committee recognizes and appreciates the diverse views associated with the theory of evolution.”
In a time of environmental crisis and educational skepticism, these new measures are a well-needed dash of hope.