I haven't found an online copy of the article, but its in the today's Advertiser (3/5/10) on page 21 if you happen to be in a place with it. I'll try to find the (an?) online version.
Incidentally it's in "articles of faith". Technically it is the right place to put it, but the view put forward is wrong. Terribly terribly wrong.
Apparently the Association of Independent Schools who represent various types of schools, both secular and religious, are not happy about this ban.
This has been an issue that arose around last year when the
The teaching of Science in relation to creationism and intelligent designIt's really quite clear, you can't teach a religious view and call it "science". If you don't follow this guideline you may lose your registration.
The Board requires the teaching of Science as an empirical discipline, focusing on inquiry, hypothesis, investigation, experimentation, observation and evidential analysis.
The Board does not accept as satisfactory a science curriculum in a non-government school which is based upon, espouses or reflects the literal interpretation of a religious text in its treatment of either creationism or intelligent design
Back in March (I seemed to miss this story though) it was reported by Lauren Zwaans (the same women who wrote this article) that independent schools are seeking legal advice because the government, who regulate all schools including independent schools, decided to actually regulate independent schools.
When the March article was published the Australian Christian Lobby SA/Vic chairman Rob Ward stated that such regulation would turn religious schools into "government schools with RE classes". Oh dear, how horrible. Can you imagine it, faith based schools being forced to teach the same things the government schools teach? Oh the humanity.
Today's article isn't any better, the executive director of AIS SA, Gary Le Duff stated that,
The overarching issue is where does regulation stop, it's not just about this debate.Right. Clearly the problem is the Government telling independent schools, and remember this include non-religious schools as well, that they can't teach their kids shit and call it science.
He was also quoted as saying:
We have come to some arrangement where the schools communities can manage and govern their schools without excessive intrusion into the right of parents to have their children educated in a particular set of beliefs.Which is irrelevant to the issue at hand. He also went on about "tolerance", which is also irrelevant. I'm starting to wonder whether the people who try and teach creationism in science classes here in Australia can actually grasp that. It's not about regulation or tolerance, it's about the science.
The Sydney Morning Herald picked up this story as well, with Stephen O'Doherty, the chief executive of Christian Schools Australia, telling us that they are banning the right to teach "biblical perspectives" in science classes.
Good. Seriously, it's a good thing that this is banned. Just like teaching from the perspective of the Koran, or the Vedas or the poetic edda, or even Dianetics. These are "perspectives" that aren't used in science, simply because they are simply rubbish. It doesn't help children understand evolution, in the same way as using these books to teach chemical principles or basic astronomy. Teaching it as true just confuses children, especially if you teach that your specific holy text is infallible.
The Advertiser's article also has a quote from Family First MP Dennis Hood, who said that it restricts parents wishes and that it's "dangerous ground" when you tell schools what they can and can't teach.
Well on parents wishes I think that they can go jump. One of the strengths of our school system is that the average parent doesn't determine the curriculum. The government employs competent individuals who determine what schools can and can't teach children. This ensures that we don't get situations here that we see in the US with creationists getting themselves elected to school boards and trying to force creationism into the curriculum.
And it's not "dangerous ground" at all. Year 12 topics are like that, there are a set number of choices in certain subjects that a school may choose to teach, but what they teach must come from those topics.
Yet we are supposed to see this as a bad thing? I guess it must be, since schools have to teach kids all of that dangerous actual science without being taught "Goddidit".
However, they are still allowed to teach creationism where it belongs, in RE.