Wired Scienceによれば、コネチカット州Westonで、進化論教育が普通ではない方向から攻撃を受けている。
Evolution education is under attack in Weston, Connecticut, but not from the usual direction.

Nobody is promoting intelligent design in the curriculum, or asking schools to teach evolution’s “strengths and weaknesses.” There’s just an administration afraid that teaching third graders too much about Charles Darwin will cause trouble.

“They might have just been looking to avoid controversy, but that has the same effect,” said Steve Newton, programs and policy director at the National Center for Science Education. ” If you’re not looking to teach children the best science, that harms their education.”


National Center for Science Education.の計画方針責任者Steve Newtonは「彼らは論争を回避しようとしているだけかもしれないが、それは同じ影響を与える。子供たちに最良の科学を教える気がないなら、それは子供たちの教育に悪影響を与える。」と述べた。

At issue is a class section proposed in 2008 by Mark Tangarone, teacher of the third, fourth and fifth grade Talented and Gifted program at the Weston Intermediate School. Tangarone wanted his third graders to study and compare the accomplishments of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin.

To learn about Darwin, students would have retraced the path of the HMS Beagle, the expedition that inspired a young Darwin’s theory of evolution. Each student would study a stop in the voyage, reporting on the animals and adaptations that Darwin observed.

When Tangarone ran his class plan by then-principal Mark Ribbens, he was denied.

問題はWeston中学の3〜5年生の英才プログラムを担当する教師Mark Tangaroneが2008年に提案した授業のセクションで起きた。Tangaroneは3年生にアブラハム・リンカーンとチャールズ・ダーウィンの業績を学習・比較させるものだった。


Tangaroneの授業計画はMark RIbbens校長に却下された。

In an email obtained by the Weston Forum, Ribbens explained that his objections had nothing to do with the soundness of the theory of evolution. Instead, he was worried about parent reaction.

“While evolution is a robust scientific theory, it is a philosophically unsatisfactory explanation for the diversity of life. I could anticipate that a number of our parents might object to this topic,” wrote Ribbens. “It is not appropriate to have [Darwin's] work or the theory part of the TAG program since the topic is not age appropriate.”

Ribbens explained further, “Evolution touches on a core belief ― Do we share common ancestry with other living organisms? What does it mean to be a human being? I don’t believe that this core belief is one in which you want to debate with children or their parents, and I know personally that I would be challenged in leading a 10-year-old through this sort of discussion while maintaining the appropriate sensitivity to a family’s religious beliefs or traditions.”

Weston Forumのメールで、RIbbens校長は、却下した理由は進化論の正しさとは関係がなく、保護者の反応を懸念したためだと説明した。

「進化論は確固たる科学理論だが、生命の多様性について哲学的に不十分な説明である。多くの保護者がこの話題について反対することが予想された。この話題は年齢上不適なので、英才教育の一部としてダーウィンの業績や理論を学ぶのは適切ではない。進化論は、信仰の中核に触れている。我々は他の生物と祖先を共有しているのか? 人間にとって何を意味するのか? 私は信仰の中核について、子供たちや両親と議論したいとは考えていない。家族の宗教信仰あるいは宗教的伝統を鑑みて、この種の議論を通して10歳の子供を教育する際に、難詰されることを個人的に知っている。」

However, the class wasn’t out of step with official state science standards [.doc]. At the time, these instructed teachers to impart to third graders the ability to “describe how different plants and animals are adapted to obtain air, water, food and protection in specific land habitats.” That section of the standards was subtitled, “Heredity and Evolution ― What processes are responsible for life’s unity and diversity?”

しかし、この授業は州の公式理科教育標準から逸脱していない。理科教育標準は、「異なる植物と動物が空気と水と食糧を手に入れるために、特定の環境に、どのように適応したかを描写する」能力を3年生に与えるように先生に指示している。理科教育標準のこのセクションのサブタイトルは「遺伝と進化 -- 生命の統一性と多様性にどんなプロセスが原因となっているのか」である。

Ribbens left the school this year, and Tangarone asked to teach his Darwin program again. The request was rejected, and Tangarone submitted a letter of resignation on February 12, the date of Darwin’s birthday. “I feel that Weston has become anti-science and no longer a place I feel comfortable teaching in,” said Tangarone, who will retire two years early.

“I never dreamed this would be an issue in Weston,” he said. It’s a highly educated community. Many parents work in New York. There are authors, artists and scientists. They’re committed to education for their children.”


Weston Public Schools superintendent Jerry Belair did not respond to requests for an interview.

According to Newton, the motives of school administrators are not in doubt. “They just wanted to avoid controversy,” he said.

Weston公立学校教育長Jerry Belairはインタビュー要請に回答しなかった。

National Center for Science EducationのNewtonによれば、学校管理者たちの動機は明白で「論争を回避したい」だけである。

[Brandon Keim: "Evolution’s New Foe: Timid School Administrators" (2010/04/23) on Wired Science]

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