Bill Nye has been on an evolution-education kick lately. First, last week, he went on Newsmax’s “MidPoint” to talk about his vehement opposition to creationism being taught in public schools, or at all, to young children. When asked if creationism is making kids less intelligent, he responded:
“Absolutely. They’re holding the kids back. These kids will not be able to participate in the future. Because they will not have this fundamental idea that you can use skeptical thought to learn about nature. They will have to suppress everything they see in nature in order to try and get a worldview that’s compatible with the adults, in whom they trust.”
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Driving home with my 16-year-old son this week, I asked him if any of his teachers had led a discussion regarding recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. He told me that it hadn’t come up. I pressed a little bit harder—not in AP US History? Not in sophomore English? Nope. I then asked him why he thought that was and he responded, “Well, Mom, everyone’s viewpoint would be subjective. Like, no one would agree and it could get heated.” The sun began to set as we neared home and our conversation quieted. I felt heavy of heart—and I can best speak to that pain and worry as a teacher. Keep reading »
A new American Psychology Association study shows that while STEM is associated with masculinity cross-culturally, black women associate STEM with men less than white women do. The study mentions that African American women also study STEM majors more frequently than white women.
The stereotypes women — as well as men, as well as teachers, professors, and employers — hold about science and masculinity has a chilling effect on women’s participation in STEM majors and careers. However, black women appear to be more confident about approaching science and mathematics, possibly because the character traits associated with the fields – like independence and assertiveness — “may not be considered unfeminine” in African American cultures. Keep reading »
Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for girls’ education rights, just became the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Price. She shares the award with Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian advocate who campaigns against child labor and exploitation. Yousafzai came into the international spotlight in 2009 when she began blogging anonymously about life under Taliban rule for the BBC and expressed her desire to continue her education. Her community in the Swat region of Pakistan had been overtaken by the Taliban the year before, and local schools had begun closing left and right. Eventually Malala was publicly identified as the blog’s author, and in 2012, Taliban forces barged onto her school bus and shot her in the head. Malala miraculously survived and was airlifted to England for recovery, where she still lives with her parents and brother. Instead of intimidating her into silence, the shooting made Malala even more determined to fight for the thousands of girls around the world who are still unable to attend school without fearing for their lives. After the jump, a few ways we can all help further her cause! Keep reading »
It’s back-to-school time for everybody from preschoolers to college students and you can’t throw a No. 2 pencil without hitting some advice on promoting academic success. Create routine! Eat properly! Get enough sleep! These are all well-intentioned suggestions we hear repeatedly. But I’m here to offer up one more nugget of educational guidance:
Don’t get suspended.
Sounds logical, and probably rather obvious, but what’s not so obvious are all the reasons that might cause you to be suspended this upcoming school year***: Keep reading »