An Easy Decision for the Texas School Board

Nope, they should not have any trouble rejecting this proposal:

A bid by the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research to train future science teachers was flatly rejected by Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board members Wednesday.

Here is a sampling of what you would get from ICR:

The purpose of ICRGS is (1) to prepare science teachers and other individuals to understand the universe within the integrating framework of a biblical perspective using proven scientific data, and (2) to prepare students for leadership in science education. A clear distinction is drawn between scientific creationism and biblical creationism, but it is the position of the Institute that the two are compatible and that all genuine facts of science support the Bible.
The programs and curricula of the Graduate School, while similar in factual content to those of other graduate colleges, are distinctive in one major respect. ICR bases its educational philosophy on the foundational truth of a personal Creator-God and His authoritative and unique revelation of truth in the Bible.

The first two goals of their distance education program are:

# create a network of science teachers who desire to teach scientific truths about biblical creation;
# learn the most effective ways to teach scientific truths about biblical creation;

Excellent goals! Ones that any decent science teacher can already handle just fine.
If someone really wants a course like this as part of their educational credentials then they should certainly be allowed to do so. But they should not expect it to qualify them to teach real science.

On a related note, John Freshwater can keep his bible on his desk. However, it sounds like some of his teaching points and methods are well aligned with ICR.

Update: Greg Laden has a related petition you should go sign.

Bad Cookie Monster!

Is Sesame Street good for children?

A paper in Australia reports that DVDs of classic episodes of Sesame Street are being labeled “adult only” because they do not suit the needs of today’s preschool children. Cookie Monster is evil for devouring cookies and thus promoting bad habits that lead to obesity.

The needs of today’s preschool children???
The show met the needs of preschool children just as poorly during the original screenings: It promoted obesity by encouraging little kids to sit quietly in front of the tube and promoted mental anorexia by encouraging little kids to sit mentally passive in front of the boob tube.
In the linked article

Andrew Fuller, a clinical psychologist and consultant on children’s television production, said a sanitised world was far more dangerous than the whacky world of Sesame Street.
“Unless we expose kids to a diverse range of characters and behaviour they will not be prepared for the real world,” he said.

Before tube world kids gathered this experience in…the real world!

Via Karen DeCoster.

Quote of the Day #3 ~ Education

…I could not help receiving the impression that I was being cheated out of something. Out of what I knew not, yet I did not believe that twelve years of unrelieved boredom was exactly what the state had in mind for me.
Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee, 1960, page 37 in the 1982 Popular Library Edition

Hmmm, this is probably exactly what the state had/has in mind…

Given the structure of the education school systems in the US those who are not afflicted with boredom must be the small exception.

Food for Your iPOD

Download a lecture or two on your favorite subject from iTunes U:

Designed to be completely intuitive, iTunes U is based on the iTunes Store, where millions of people already get their music, movies, and TV shows. Now there’s an area of the iTunes Store devoted entirely to education, where it’s easy to search thousands of audio and video files from schools across the country.
Colleges and universities build their own iTunes U sites. Faculty post content they create for their classes. Students download what they need, and go. Learning isn’t just for the classroom anymore. It’s for anytime and anyplace you’ve got a Mac, a PC, or an iPod.

Via Christopher Dawson at Education IT who notes:

While most universities have been podcasting for some time, this is certainly an innovative way for Apple to facilitate the sharing of this content and give us all one more reason to become pod people. Most of the content is free for the taking…I can almost feel the earbuds now.

A good place to start might be Geography of World Cultures from Stanford.