5th grade- 'its just a theory-nobody knows'
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05-03-2014, 10:27 PM
RE: 5th grade- 'its just a theory-nobody knows'
I remember a Physics lesson where a girl in my class said her parents said gravity doesn't exists (I think she was a Sikh), the teacher (Neil Eve, best science teacher I ever had) told her to tell them, from him, that they were idiots to believe that, and then explained why.

It was beautiful... Like watching an epic Hitchslap.

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05-03-2014, 10:39 PM
RE: 5th grade- 'its just a theory-nobody knows'
(05-03-2014 10:27 PM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  I remember a Physics lesson where a girl in my class said her parents said gravity doesn't exists (I think she was a Sikh), the teacher (Neil Eve, best science teacher I ever had) told her to tell them, from him, that they were idiots to believe that, and then explained why.

It was beautiful... Like watching an epic Hitchslap.

I would LOVE for my kids to have a science teacher like that.

And while I would love for my daughters teacher to take that approach, I know she won't (and I understand why), but at the same time she is allowing a group of children to go on & on and basically destroy her whole lesson because she's allowing them to voice their religious parents views frequently enough that now my child is coming home doubting the lesson. And frankly, this is one lesson I really want her to get.

I think our spring break just turned into a visit to all the natural history museums within driving distance.


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05-03-2014, 10:49 PM
RE: 5th grade- 'its just a theory-nobody knows'
(05-03-2014 10:39 PM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  
(05-03-2014 10:27 PM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  I remember a Physics lesson where a girl in my class said her parents said gravity doesn't exists (I think she was a Sikh), the teacher (Neil Eve, best science teacher I ever had) told her to tell them, from him, that they were idiots to believe that, and then explained why.

It was beautiful... Like watching an epic Hitchslap.

I would LOVE for my kids to have a science teacher like that.

And while I would love for my daughters teacher to take that approach, I know she won't (and I understand why), but at the same time she is allowing a group of children to go on & on and basically destroy her whole lesson because she's allowing them to voice their religious parents views frequently enough that now my child is coming home doubting the lesson. And frankly, this is one lesson I really want her to get.

I think our spring break just turned into a visit to all the natural history museums within driving distance.

Mr Eve was one of those teachers you always remember. They're sadly a rarity.

He used to start every lesson with a big explosion... He ended up being banned from teaching the younger kids after he set his ceiling on fire.

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06-03-2014, 08:43 AM
RE: 5th grade- 'its just a theory-nobody knows'
Update: I sent the teacher an email ( which is below ) with my concern, and her reply. At the end of the day (and considering where we are) I am satisfied with it.

My email to teacher:
Quote:I had an interesting conversation with Serena before bed last night, but the details were sort of fuzzy, so I wanted to check in with you and make sure I understand the situation correctly. Serena tells me that you are starting a unit on plate tectonics and saw a movie on it. Can I get the title of that movie, please? She said there were some comments from other students about it bringing religious ideas in the mix and trying to discredit the facts in the movie? This concerns me deeply. Serena is now confused about the situation. Please review with them that the word "theory" in a scientific sense is not a hypothesis! Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge.

I realize there are many people of different faiths that have feelings and you have to walk a fine line to not have parents upset, but these comments are leaving girls doubting science....real, proven, scientific FACTS.

The teachers reply :
Quote:Thank you for your email. The video goes with our textbook. I cannot send the DVD home but you are welcome to come to school to view it at a computer in the library. It is by Discovery Channel School. The video was completely scientific and discussed the theory of continental drift and the theory of plate tectonics.

I am so sorry Serena is confused about the process. After the movie many students brought up their beliefs. Each student has the right to share their belief. I told the class they should believe what their parents have instilled in them BUT scientists have given hard evidence that this has occurred. I then told them we were not bringing religion into it and ended the discussion. We also discussed the difference between theory and law. I told them that these were theories which there was evidence for but not a law. I explained that a law was completely proven. We cannot prove without a doubt that continental drift occurred. However I didn't tell the students that. I did tell them there is hard evidence of it occurring and that one day I bet it would become a law. My students know, as we discussed, that Wegener came up with the hypothesis of continents drifting but it was after his death that it became a theory because they had evidence of why plates drifted. I will be happy to clear up any confusion with Serena but I feel the class has the info they need. It is up to them and their parents to decide how they want to interpret it. Please let me know if I can help in any other way.

Thanks for the replies, I get bent out of shape over religion in schools because of where we live, it's always trying to find a way in and if it isn't the teacher then it's other students. And it seems like a constant battle. Sigh.


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