A letter to atheist advice-giver Molleen Matsumura in her Sweet Reason column reads like this:
I’m a student in a teacher certification program in Texas, and I’m pretty nervous about how my atheism is going to play out as an elementary school teacher . So many of the other students in my program at the Univ. of Texas at Dallas are such fervent evangelicals, that I often feel suffocated and angry at their ignorance. It is apparent that they’ll sidestep every effort to teach evolutionary principles, and will promote creationism as an “alternative”. I’m sure most parents will support this.
I feel so strongly about the issue of free inquiry and science, that I’m afraid I’ll end up butting heads with parents, other teachers, and administrators, but then, another part of me is bent on holding to my principles. I’m just very conflicted.
One person I talked to pointed out that I can stand up for my principles without necessarily saying where they come from. I’ve started thinking that as long as I’m respectful toward others’ views, I don’t need to feel afraid or ashamed of my own; and I can choose whether to share, based on the situation and the other person.
That said, I also realize that a professional educator should refrain from promoting religious beliefs or nonbelief, and help kids learn the processes of thinking for themselves. Yes, there are many liberal or at least semi-tolerant believers here, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that there are tons of very radical fundamentalists, too. It’s ingrained in the culture and it’s inescapable–even my dentist and my employer are openly fundamentalist.
I’m still unsure about how to approach the topic of evolution (the age of the earth, dinosaurs, etc.) with kids, even if I’m only going to be teaching at the elementary level.
Student Teacher Intelligently Designing Career
You can offer your own thoughts or read what Molleen has to say.
(via Humanist Network News)
[tags]atheist, atheism, Creationism, Intelligent Design[/tags]