Volume 94, Issue 36

Thursday, November 2, 2000


Web site threatens elections

USC votes down Rubinoff apology

More boozing leads to more losing?

"Stupid" games run rampant at Western

No evolution raises curriculum concerns

Campus Briefs

London ordered to upgrade facilities

Corroded Disorder

No evolution raises curriculum concerns

By Chris Lackner
Gazette Staff

You say you want an evolution, well...you know, we all want to see the plans.

A number of university academics have criticized the new Ontario elementary and high school curriculum because of a lack of course content concerning biological evolution.

Rob Savage, media spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, confirmed evolution would only be addressed in Grade 12 advanced biology, a non-mandatory course designed for students who aspire to continue in the field of science at the university level.

He said evolution was taught previously at the OAC level and has now been restructured into the new four year curriculum.

Savage said other scientific concepts are built into the Ontario curriculum, which gradually lay the foundation for evolutionary theory at the grade 12 level.

Jim Fenwick, professor of biology at the University of Ottawa, said all highschool students should be taught an extensive background in evolutionary theory.

"The students I have now came through the old system with OAC," he said. "Very few students actually did any evolution [in high school] and those that did, say it was just kind of thrown in at the end. I think it should be presented as a fact. Every bit as much a fact as gravity, or the Earth going around the sun."

Cam Tsujita, a Western professor of earth sciences, said he thinks there is a general lack of earth history in high school curriculums, with evolution being just one of his concerns.

"People are hesitant to directly address evolution," he said, adding while the theory may be contentious with some religious groups, the curriculum should at least offer a detailed description of all scientific options.

Questions about evolutionary theory, or lack thereof, have not been raised at the Thames Valley Board of Education, according to Doug Duff, the curriculum learning supervisor for the board.

But, Duff said a number of scientific issues have been crammed into the new curriculum, including theories in earth sciences, engineering and space.

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