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Alabama to teach evolution, climate change

A recent update to the state’s science standards means schools will be required to teach evolution and climate change, and students will be tested on their knowledge of these subjects.

Education officials say students will not be required to believe in either concept; they simple must understand them and be able to explain them. The new standards, the first since 2005, also call for less lecturing, more hands-on instruction and more experimentation.

The new guidelines, which become effective in 2016, were drawn up carefully. The new standards received nothing but praise at the Alabama State Board of Education meeting when they were adopted.

A science specialist for Alabama’s state education agency, Michal Robinson, explained that the standards were changed to ensure that students wishing to pursue a career in science would have the necessary foundation.

Although the adjustments to climate change and evolution teaching may be getting the most attention according to the state’s education authorities, the biggest change will be how science is taught. Students are to be encouraged to observe and discover scientific principles for themselves with memorization of facts and lecturing taking a backseat.

This new way of learning will of course require a period of adjustment for both teachers and students. For this reason, engaging someone to supply learning skills tutoring to Birmingham students may take on an added importance for families here.

Still to be made is a decision on the theory of evolution disclaimer stickers carried in Alabama science textbooks, which rests with the textbook review committee.

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