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Supernaturalism and supernatural beliefs no doubt will continue to snake their way into public school lesson plans, and as Texas will have significant impact on the content of all the nation’s texts through its textbook purchasing power, we may find that the tale of the Loch Ness Monster is now told to children as if it were a true story in science classes. This is now the case in Louisiana where, as The Washington Post reported, “A biology textbook used by a Christian school in Louisiana that will be accepting students with publicly funded vouchers in the fall says that the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland is real.And it isn’t just any monster but a dinosaur – an effort to debunk evolution and bolster creationist theory.” Remember: In Louisiana, taxpayer money is given in the form of school vouchers so that parents can now see their tax monies spent on a supernatural curriculum bent on teaching that the Loch Ness Monster and other fairy tales are true.William Bagley’s book, “Classroom Management,” published in 1907 and widely used as a teacher-training manual throughout America in the early 1900s, was so highly praised at the time that it went through 30 printed editions.
But if critical thinking is not to be used in the classroom, how would these beliefs be examined for evidence?
Science, the scientific method, critical thinking and the process of subjecting claims to evidentiary experimentation – all related activities – pose a threat to self-proclaimed power and the harbingers of supernaturalism.
In spite of the fact that the board of IDEA is filled with Wall Street banking interests, IDEA says it works to assure students get what they call a “core curriculum.” Critical thinking is never mentioned in the IDEA core curriculum – let alone entertained in IDEA classrooms, either by faculty or students; instead, IDEA is devoted to turning education into a commodity, students into customers mounted with saddlebags for tax funds that subsidize IDEA and turn schools into fortresses of profit.
According to IDEA’s online blurb, the company is all about growth and expansion using taxpayer monies to grease the wheel: “In addition to its exemplary academic achievement, IDEA is moving forward with growth and expansion efforts to help serve more students throughout the Valley and Central Texas.
The Texas GOP is simply creating the new conditions for a technological form of Plato’s Cave with zero tolerance and the school-to-prison pipeline.
The Republican Party platform gets worse when it comes to prohibiting thinking critically about science or the scientific method.
Take the section on ” controversial theories,” found on page 20: Controversial Theories – We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories.
We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced.
Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind.
Alternative beliefs such as creationism are now cleverly invited into the curriculum as so-called science or theories to debunk the purportedly false notions of the theory of evolution.