Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Science education blues

Offensive to the Church? Darwin?

Last Saturday I gave a plenary talk to a basic science education symposium attended by science teachers from ASEAN and Asian countries. I gave my talk about what needs to be done in biodiversity education. Now that the biodiversity crisis is a major global environmental concern, teachers will have to quickly create learning and teaching strategies that emphasize conservation. However what constrains us is that the cornerstone theory of our modern understanding of biodiversity, Charles Darwin's and Alfred Russel Wallace's theory of evolution is not taught well in many schools.

But before I gave my talk, a woman speaker outlined our education department's gender sensitivity and sexuality education program. It looks like that many of our learning strategies need to be gender sensitized by which stereotypical gender roles must be removed from lesson plans and textbooks. I don't see anything wrong with that. Today in many households, men do the same work as women do in caring for the home and family. Women are on equal footing when it comes to breadwinning.

However what struck me is that the education department cannot use the words "birth control" and "overpopulation" in the lesson plans. Obviously the powers-that-be don't want to offend the Catholic Church. To which I can only say the Latin ejaculation

Sanctus Galileo Galilei Ora Pro Nobis!


Well Galileo had no choice but to OFFEND the Catholic Church for Scientia. Now who was proven right in the end?

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