Jonny Scaramanga came to do a talk about his experiences with Christian education at Portsmouth Skeptics in the Pub recently. I was gutted to have missed it – I was really looking forward to that one. However, keeping a tab on his blog, it seems clear that he is embroiled in a right ding-dong with his arch nemeses, Accelerate Christian Education, or ACE. Here is his article ion the subject which he wrote for the Guardian.
The end is Nye!
Sorry, made that joke last time, but now it seems better suited.
So last night was the much-trafficked debate between Bill Nye, the Science Guy, and AiG founder Ken Ham. Now, I am obviously biased towards the scientific consensus; evidence tends to do that. However, I have to say that I was pessimistic about how the debate would go. I didn’t figure either side would really win, but rather it seemed there would be a lot of talking past each other. And while that happened to an extend, overall I think Nye handled things rather well.
Genetics has a more powerful influence on pupils’ GCSE exam results than teachers, schools or family environment, according to a new study published tonight.
Researchers from King’s College London found that genetic differences account for 58 per cent of the differences between pupils’ GCSE exam scores – while environment (home or school) only accounted for 29 per cent. They also found boys’ results were more likely to reflect their genes than girls.
So I have written a number of times about Gove and his penchant for free market economics in school and his libertarian approach to education. And how it totally sucks. Well, his Free School initiative is terrible and is faltering as the days go by. Between Free Schools and Academies, he is doing a fine job of dismantling education.
This is a disgrace. This is what our schools are coming to given the government’s insistence that anyone can set up schools (Free Schools). This is just an excuse for ideological indoctrination. Here is an email the British Humanist Association sent me:
On the 17th October, teachers in my area will be striking. Here are the reasons why I support this strike…
I am a big advocate of the state education sector in Britain. I hate Michael Gove, the Conservative Education Minister,…
The Derby Telegraph has reported that Al-Madinah School, a Muslim Free School that opened in Derby in September 2012, is forcing all female members of staff to wear a hijab (whether Muslim or not), and is requiring girls to sit at the back of classrooms. The Sunday Times is further reporting that reading fairy tales, singing and stringed instruments are banned due to being ‘forbidden in Islam’, and the school’s (non-Muslim) head and deputy head were bullied into resignation by the governing body due to the latter being belittled and sidelined as a result of her lack of faith – leading to both lodging official complaints of bullying with the Department for Education (DfE).
A multi-national team of researchers has identified genetic markers that predict educational attainment by pooling data from more than 125,000 individuals in the United States, Australia, and 13 western European countries.
So a British soldier was stabbed to death in public, the atrocity being caught and shared on social media. They stayed around to be arrested, not afraid of the consequences, and this is the scary thing. Now there is a widespread Muslim backlash. To make matters worse, the government has admitted that “thousands are at risk of radicalisation” in the UK.
So what do we do to unite society? What do we do to make it more inclusive and less exclusive? How do we break the in-group / out-group psychology which fuels the fires of societal discontent and fear? How to we pull down the walls of separation of ‘us’ and ‘them’?
I researched about this for my first book, Free Will? As a teacher I am acutely aware of this, but it seems like nothing is ever done. However, the stats have consistently supported the fact that there is a problem with achievement and self-confidence. Let me explain.
In the Uk, for example, children start school at aged 5. The cut-off date is September 1st. This means that a child can be born on September 1st and be in the same school year as someone born on August 30th LATER that same year. In other words, one child can be 60 months old, and another effectively 48 months old when they start school.
I posted a Guardian article about ACE (Christian fundamentalist) schooling. I have found the website of the author (Jonny Scaramanga) and came across this interesting post. See what you think:
Biased political statements in Accelerated Christian Education schools’ curriculum may be incompatible with new standardsAn Ace English test question. The ‘correct’ answer is b.
The Accelerated Christian Education (Ace) group of fundamentalist schools has gone largely unnoticed by academic researchers and the mainstream media. Recent changes to legislation could mean the education they provide does not meet new standards.
This is a fascinating article. It amazes me that parents can torture their children with AIG inspired textbooks. This is an albeit small step in the right direction:
Oh shit. UPDATE: On February 19, HB1674 passed through the Oklahoma Common Education committee on a 9-8 vote. In biology class, public…
As The Friendly Atheist points out, Republican politicians are pressing for a bill which would force high school students to make a pledge in order to graduate; a pledge which includes pleading to God:
More than 850 delegates flocked to a seminal conference in London on Saturday about the compatibility of modern evolutionary theory and Islamic theology – despite scaremongering and the refusal of Islamic student societies to participate. Determined organisers had overcome pressure to cancel by changing the venue from Imperial College toLogan Hall at the University of London. The event was the brainchild of the Deen Institute, which runs courses to promote critical thinking among Muslim students and kindle rational dialogue within Islam. The need for dialogue is urgent, because to date there has been little open discussion within British Muslim communities on this divisive subject. Recent debates in the US suggest that evolution is not as much of a problem theologically to Muslims as it is to Christian creationists, but there is work to be done to clarify the situation.