Science in My Classroom

Blake Reidy

Evolution and Creationism

A science topic that makes me nervous is the idea of having to teach evolution if there are students who believe in creationism in my classroom.

Evolution: Evolution in the broadest sense leads to an understanding that the natural world has a history and that cumulative change through time has occurred and continues to occur.

Creationism: In its broadest meaning, creationism is the idea that the universe is the consequence of something transcendent.

(National Science Teachers Association)

Strategies For Teaching Evolution and Creationism

  • Let parents know ahead of time and send a letter home explaining the upcoming unit and ask for any questions or concerns
  • Be sensitive to all beliefs and thoughts
  • Have an open environment where students feel safe to ask questions and share their personal opinions
  • Have an alternative plan for students whose parents do not want them to take part in that particular unit of study
  • Teach evolution as a theory and present students with ideas that have been well researched and are well supported with textual evidence

*This will hopefully not be a problem in the lower grades that I plan to teach, but in middle school it might be something to think about!

Incorporating Science Into My Future Classroom

Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character. - Albert Einstein

Science Content vs. Science Practice

Although both content and practice are important for science, I am always a firm believer that it is better to do than to know. I believe in learning by experience, and if you practice doing and getting experiences, the knowledge will follow. However, I always believe that it is important to practice learning how to be safe in the classroom with each other and with materials. Knowing what you are working with and what the outcome will be is an important part of safety, but in terms of content I think that encouraging the practice of science and exploration is more important than knowledge. After all, it took someone curious, who did not know the outcome that would happen, to discover everything about science that we know so far!