Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Some positive news this week: the UK government is set to approve the teaching of evolution in the primary school curriculum for the first time.
According to the Guardian, UK Minister for Schools Diana Johnson confirmed in a letter to the British Humanist Association (BHA) that evolution would be included in the final draft of the new primary curriculum. Pupils will start with simple concepts of change, adaptation and natural selection illustrated by the evolution of fish to amphibians to mammals, for example.
It's certainly much needed following the depressing results of the British Council's survey a few weeks ago, which found that 60 per cent of adults in Great Britain thought creationism and intelligent design should be taught alongside evolution.
The BHA has been coordinating a campaign to get evolution on the curriculum. Its Head of Education, Andrew Copley, wrote an interesting piece on the Guardian's Comment is Free site, applauding attempts to engage children with the concept at an earlier age.
"Evolution is arguably the most important concept underlying the life sciences, providing children with an understanding of it at the earliest possible age will surely help lay the foundations for a surer scientific understanding later on."
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