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RE: Not About [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

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  • Pamela Ford
    I just got my exam copy of Bob Muckle s new book and it looks great. I like the cover, Bob! And, you should know that it comes with a stack of free
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 8, 2006
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      I just got my exam copy of Bob Muckle's new book and it looks great. I like
      the cover, Bob! And, you should know that it comes with a stack of free
      bookmarks!

      Pamela Ford
      Chair, Department for World Studies
      Mt. San Jacinto College
      1499 N. State Street
      San Jacinto, CA 92583
      951.487-3725


      -----Original Message-----
      From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      Pamela Ford
      Sent: Friday, September 08, 2006 1:21 PM
      To: 'SACC-L@yahoogroups.com'
      Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

      It's that evidence of outright fear in some of our students that really
      bothers me. I suspect while so many are unskilled at any kind of critical
      thinking, they become terrified of an idea that's not part of the segment of
      the world they occupy. (The irony is that the same young people can rebel
      with tattoos and piercings, but not with new intellectual concepts!) I feel
      compelled to work with them since anthropology is the only discipline where
      we can consider both biological data and behavioral data in order to
      understand humans on a grand scale. If a student is fighting hard not to
      understand evolutionary processes in the physical anthropology class, then I
      think they really need to take the cultural anthropology class next to
      better understand their own ethnocentrism (especially about religion.) So I
      don't want to lose them......

      I had a student with stomach ulcers (and serious pain) because she was
      forced to attend a kind of "seminary" in the early mornings before she came
      to the community college. Every day, her family and her teachers in the
      "seminary" re-inforced the notion that she was evil for wanting to learn.
      She needed a lot of reassurance from me. We have many students whose
      situation is not so dire but who need a lot of support just for because they
      are trying to be students in a segment of society that frowns on
      intellectual development of any kind.

      Pamela Ford
      Chair, Department for World Studies
      Mt. San Jacinto College
      1499 N. State Street
      San Jacinto, CA 92583
      951.487-3725


      -----Original Message-----
      From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      Bob Muckle
      Sent: Friday, September 08, 2006 10:11 AM
      To: deborah.shepherd@...; SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

      The first time I taught the human evoution course I had a young woman
      stay after class to talk with me. It took about 30 seconds for her to
      break into tears, letting me know that she didn't want to take the
      course but needed it as a requirement. She was really hoping that I
      could somehow get the requirement waived for her. She came from a family
      of missionaries and this was her ambition as well, after getting a
      degree in social work. I simply explained to her that she didn't have to
      give up her own beliefs to do well in the course and it really couldn't
      hurt to know what the people she believed were her opponents thought and
      how they came to their conclusions. I also assured her that I would
      frame test questions so that she wouldn't have difficulty answering
      because of her belief system (eg. starting questions with such phrases
      as "According to...." or "Scientific research shows..."). The student
      did complete the course, but no more was said about our little
      conversation. I moved on to another college hundreds of miles away and
      never thought of the student again. Until four years later I received a
      call from the student who just wanted to let me know that she was now in
      her first year in a graduate program, in Anthropology!

      Also...I think I've mentioned this before, but I think an excellent way
      to start the course is with the Nova program 'God, Darwin, and
      Dinosaurs.' It uses the Creation vs. Evolution debate, especially the
      teaching of creationism in schools, to inform students about the nature
      of science. It does a good job, in my opinion, of exploring the question
      'What is science?" and answering it. Although the program came out quite
      a few years ago, as it focuses on school board decisions, it still
      appears contemporary.

      Bob


      Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
      ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
      Yahoo! Groups Links








      Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
      ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
      Yahoo! Groups Links
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