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News – Science teachers’ dilemma

November 2007

Science teachers’ dilemma

The Head of Science at London’s Institute of Education, Professor Michael Reiss, has warned that teaching evolution in UK schools is becoming increasingly difficult because some teachers – fearful of entering the creation/evolution debate – prefer to avoid the subject altogether.

Professor Reiss says the rise of creationism is partly down to the large increase in Muslim pupils in UK schools. He estimates that one in 10 people in the UK now believes in literal interpretations of religious creation stories – whether based on the Bible or Koran.

He supports new government guidance for science teachers that says: ‘Creationism and intelligent design are not scientific theories nor testable as scientific fact – and have no place in the science curriculum. But we advise science teachers that when questions about creationism come up in lessons, it provides an opportunity to explain or explore what makes a scientific theory’.
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