Should I teach in a virulently antievolutionist Christian school?

I am in need of a part-time job in education outside of the public schools and was considering private ones.

I don’t want my name associated with the culture war against Darwinism, but what do you think about my question?

Thanks!

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I think it can leave you open to any number of economic arm twisting strategies which will eventually have you being used in the so called “culture war against Darwinism.” However calling it is a war is granting it more dignity than I think it deserves much like accepting the claim of terrorists that they are soldiers in a war or martyrs in a religious cause. On the other hand, we had the cold war with communism which was founded on nearly as many lies, self-deceptions, and illusions as creationism.

Good question. I hope it goes well for you. You may want to be up front about your position to them. It really saves awkward moments later.

Also, if they accept you with that knowledge, they accept responsibility for accommodating your view as a valid option.

Thanks.

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Why can’t you go for a job teaching in a public school?

Science teaching? If you don’t have to teach wrong science (that the earth is young and evolution is false) and need the money, go for it. There is a lot of science you can still teach while avoiding these.

You could always create a research assignment. You argue the earth is old in a two page paper and ask the kids to refute you. I do this with the moon landing sometimes. I steel man argue it was all staged and a hoax and then I end the lecture with " the moon landings really happened, you have to refute me and provide positive evidence."

Vinnie

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Do what you feel you can do with integrity. There are some schools that just want you to affirm you are not going to undermine their guiding worldviews. But others would ask you to personally affirm a statement of beliefs. It would be important to decide whether or not you could do that sincerely before it became an issue. Depending on what subjects you would be teaching, your points of contention might not come up. So the question is what degree of “complicity” you are comfortable with in supporting and participating in a system that promotes an ideology you think is dangerous. There are certainly private schools that are not fundamentalist Christian whose teachers have a range of views.

Well I guess it comes down to just a few things really . Beside the obvious questions like salary and so on.

  1. Do they demand all teachers hold to their views.
  2. Can you share your views?
  3. Is it even a science class. If it’s a math class, it won’t really matter about science.
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The question may more be “will a virurently antievolutionary” school hire you … more than if you should work at such a school.

My only advice would be this: Go ahead and apply, but make sure you bring up early in the interview process that you cannot in good conscience align with some of their agendas in that regard. Now you could go on to offer reassurances such as “but I’ll not aggressively push my own agenda in this”, depending on how badly you want the job. But the important thing would be that they should not later feel that you “snuck up” on them or deceived them about anything if or when it comes up that you refuse to reinforce or align with that particular agenda of theirs. It may make you nervous up front about saying something unpopular. But much better to air that out then, when all it may mean is that you don’t get the job, rather than later when you will feel much greater pressure to conform in order to preserve a situation you’ve already become invested in.

[If you’re fortunate, they will appreciate having their students be made aware of other perspectives from other Christians, and will still welcome you as a brother in Christ as long as you can at least respect their right to hold different perspectives too. If they aren’t willing to do that, then it may not be a setting you would want to work in anyway - as either the frictions would inevitably grow or your conscience become more and more compromised. So think of it as you vetting them as much as them vetting you. Job seeking is always a two-way street. It isn’t just the job seeker that’s being interviewed.]

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Just to toss this out there.

I personally would feel perfectly at ease working at a school that was anti-science, and I would be sneaky in slowly opening students up to the fact that creationism is a lie to drag it out as long as possible until it collected enough that i was fired over it.

I visit churches that I don’t agree with on and off and develop actual acquaintances with people there and though I never lie, I often passively disagree and mention my opinions. Invite those people to Bible studies and explain what I believe and why and it usually results in me and the pastor(s) holding a debate at their congregation.

Why not? Teachers don’t hesitate to teach in schools with the culture war against Creationism!

Don’t make it about whether or not the theory of evolution itself is true. Instead, make it about whether or not their responses to the theory of evolution are of satisfactory quality.

When you are teaching science, you are teaching children and young people essential skills – such as critical thinking, insisting on satisfactory evidence, evaluating sources, testing hypotheses, accurate and honest weights and measures, and so on – without which they can not function properly in the modern workplace. In many cases, once they leave school, they will go on to work in situations where failing to apply these skills correctly could drive their employers out of business and quite possibly even kill people in the process – if, that is, they weren’t fired for gross professional misconduct first.

This means that you will be teaching the students that science has rules. Rules that have nothing to do with “naturalism” or “secularism” or “atheism” or “evolutionism” but that are simply concerned with honesty, factual accuracy, technical rigour and quality control. Rules such as ensuring adequate sample sizes, correctly accounting for errors such as contamination, not overstating or downplaying things, citing sources accurately and checking them carefully, avoiding logical fallacies, and so on. You will be teaching them to evaluate scientific arguments according to those rules, and you will not be making any exception for creationist responses to the theory of evolution.

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