News

Teachers ‘must respect’ the creationist views of their pupils

A CALL for teachers to respect pupils’ deeply-held beliefs in creationism has been made by a leading British biologist and education expert.

Prof Michael Reiss

Prof Michael Reiss

Professor Michael Reiss, director of education at the Royal Society, wants creationism to be included in science lessons because around 10 percent of British schoolchildren come came from Muslim backgrounds or families with fundamental Christian views.

In the US, the proportion of creationist schoolchildren was 40 percent.

The job of teachers is to teach, not to indoctrinate, and for an “education expert” to call on them to respect delusional ideas planted in pupils’ heads by fundamentalist parents – both Christian and Muslim – is outrageous.

Reiss is an ordained Church of England minister, which goes some way to explain this nonsense.

According to this report, he said teachers in science lessons ought to be willing to talk about creationism if students brought the subject up. At the same time as making clear creationism is not accepted by the scientific community, they should convey a message of respect that does not “denigrate or ridicule” the children’s beliefs.

Prof Reiss admitted he used to be “evangelical” about spreading the word of evolution when he taught biology in schools. But he added:

I realised that simply banging on about evolution and natural selection didn’t lead some pupils to change their minds at all. Now I would be more content simply for them to understand it as one way of understanding the universe.

Speaking at the British Association Festival of Science at the University of Liverpool, he said it was better for science teachers not to see creationism as a “misconception” but as a “world view”.

Oh, gimme strength!

UPDATE – Sept 13: Prof Reiss has clarified his position here.

21 responses to “Teachers ‘must respect’ the creationist views of their pupils”

  1. Angela K says:

    Another whinging prat who says we must respect religious beliefs – no we should not, we should exploit every opportunity to ridicule them.
    Religious nonsense such as creationism has NO place in a school yet alone in a science lesson. As a scientist and rational human being I find Prof. Reiss’s view dangerous and abhorrent.

  2. Michael Cohen says:

    I call on all Teachers to please respect my childrens flat earth beliefs that i have lovingly passed on to them

  3. ziggy says:

    Creationism is a misconception.

  4. Tom Rees says:

    Actually, he holds no truck with creationism. What he actually said was quite banal, but because he tried to make it sound like he was saying something controversial everyone misunderdstood what he said. http://bhascience.blogspot.com/2008/09/science-lessons-should-include.html

  5. ziggy says:

    If “creationism has no scientific basis”, then to entertain creationism is a to entertain a “misconception”.

  6. Tony Konrath says:

    I used to teach science (I have a 9B) and when creationism came up it was an excellent time to show why it wasn’t science. It took 10 minutes!

  7. Valdemar says:

    Good on you Tony, that’s the way – get the idiocy out in the open. If you give kids the impression adults don’t want them to know about something, they’ll assume it has some value – if only as entertainment.

  8. Freddie S Broga says:

    While scientists and others are trying to understand how we came to be here by one of the most intellectually demanding and imaginative experiments ever – looking back 13.9 billion years to the Bing Bang – this berk wants us to respect beliefs that say the planet was created about 6,000 years ago. What about a bit of open discussion on television and radio on these issues instead of the pulpit handed over by the BBC every day and no challenge permitted? And I do include that stain on the airwaves (if you can have a stain on airwaves) Thought for the Day.

  9. Marcus says:

    The Prophet Mohammed said he had glimpsed hell, and that it was filled with “ungrateful” women. Would Prof Reiss like us to stop regarding this particular teaching of Islam as a “misconception” and accept it rather as a “world view”?

  10. Buffy says:

    So if a student brings up a “belief” that the earth is flat should the teacher correct that, or just pander to it because they don’t want to offend their “deeply held religious beliefs”? The Bible does state, after all, that the earth has four corners and is held up by pillars. How about the Biblical notion that the planet is only 6,000 years old?

    How can science be taught if teachers can’t teach facts, but must pander to any number of religious “beliefs”? Students won’t have to get correct answers on tests, they can just put any old thing down and claim it’s their religious belief and claim discrimination if the teacher tries to correct them. So much for the state of education.

  11. meneame.net says:

    Creacionismo, alquimia, fisica, astronomia… ¿? Que decidan los niños [texto ENG]…

    Interesante artiulo, pero mas interesante viñeta acerca del modelo academico que algunas personas quieren imponer en algunos paises. Parece un chiste, pero si escuchas a los creacionistas, por ejemplo, ves que van en serio….

  12. […] (Visto en Las penas del Agente Smith > The Freethinker) […]

  13. […] Pero lo peor no es eso. Lo peor es que el señor Reiss se muestra convencido de que las ideas merecen respeto (la negrita es mía): According to this report, he said teachers in science lessons ought to be […]

  14. ziggy says:

    According to a report on the Pink Triangle blog, Prof. Reiss has just resigned his position as a Director of the Royal Society!!

  15. In Europe? Damn, where do I have to move to get rid of this kind of behavior? School should be a place to learn facts, not fairy tales, end of discussion

  16. […] Visto en The Freethinker. […]

  17. misanthropope says:

    oh, relax. it is the religious nutjobs whining for unearned respect. over here they _legislate_ that shit.

  18. Daniel says:

    You are right. You learn about the history and theories of other religions in the world, and not so much of the most populous ‘religion’ on the planet. Teachers at least should introduce the Christian faith to the students.

  19. Daniel says:

    cancel my last comment. you all are clearly retarded and can’t accept the fact that there is a God.

  20. Marcus says:

    Daniel, you’re the one who hasn’t outgrown “invisible friend” syndrome, and you have the cheek to call atheists retarded?

  21. As usual, the religious reich has no reservations about using lies, distortions and implementing their twisted beliefs into law so as to continue the brainwashing og those with few brains to start with.

    Is it any wonder theists are regarded with contempt and derision by those capable of rational thought?

    Yes Daniel, this means YOU, a Religitard of the first rank.