There’s good news from our cousins in the UK. In The Independent, a national daily newspaper published in London, we read: The Government introduces tougher curriculum to boost standards. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
New draft curricula for English, maths and science in primary schools were published by the Government today, which it says will help to boost standards. Under the plans, pupils will be expected to memorise their times tables up to 12 by age nine, multiply and divide fractions by age 11 and begin to learn and recite poetry at five years old.
That sounds very nice, but what about creationism? Be patient, dear reader. It’s coming:
But the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) raised concerns that politicians had presented a “heavily prescribed curriculum” that will leave little chance for teachers to excite children and adapt lessons to suit their pupils.
Yeah, well, excitement is very fine, but it’s important to learn the basics. Let’s read on:
The new science curriculum calls for pupils to be taught topics such as static electricity, magnetism and the basic parts of a simple electrical circuit.
The solar system and galaxies, which are not in the current curriculum for primary schools, are also included, as well as life cycles, including reproduction, the human circulatory system and evolution.
Evolution? Did they say evolution? Actually, there’s more specific information at the website of the British Humanist Association, where we read this: BHA welcomes plans to add evolution to primary curriculum. They say:
Evolution is to be included in the primary curriculum, it has today been announced. The Department for Education (DfE) has published its draft primary National Curriculum for science, which includes the teaching of evolution from year four (age 8-9). The British Humanist Association (BHA) spearheaded the ‘Teach evolution, not creationism’ campaign calling for just this change, and is delighted at the news.
Good for them! The BHA continues:
[T]he BHA came together with 30 leading scientists and four other organisations to launch a new campaign website, ‘Teach evolution, not creationism’. The campaign argued that ‘An understanding of evolution is central to understanding all aspects of biology. The teaching of evolution should be included at both primary and secondary levels in the National Curriculum and in all schools.’ It was also supported by an e-petition that has so far garnered over 23,000 signatures.
We’ll skip the details of their campaign. Besides, we wrote a bit about it last year (see UK Proposal To Ban Creationism). It’s the results that matter. Here’s more:
BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘We are delighted that evolution will be added to the primary curriculum – something that we have long advocated. Teaching this core concept from an earlier age will give pupils a much stronger understanding of the life sciences and of how we came to be. The Government must be commended for making this change, and we look forward to working with them to ensure this proposal becomes reality.’
They’re delighted; we’re delighted. And we know who undoubtedly isn’t delighted. We expect to hear a bit of grumbling from the creationists, and it ought to be amusing. We love the smell of napalm in the morning.
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