Webcast quango: One-third of UK teachers are creationists

Webcast quango: One-third of UK teachers are creationists

In a recent survey, barely half of a self-selecting sample of UK teachers who use the webcast service Teachers’ TV disagreed with the idea that “creationism or intelligent design should be given the same status as evolution in the classroom”. Some 87.9 per cent of respondents thought that it was appropriate to discuss religious matters in science classes if pupils brought them up.

Andrew Bethell, head of Teachers’ TV, commented:

“The debate on whether there is a place for the teaching of creationism in the classroom is still fierce. Although over half (50.4 per cent) of teachers either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the idea that creationism should be given the same status as evolution, there is a significant minority who believe that it should be given equal weight.

“Perhaps most telling is the fact that, almost 9 out of 10 teachers take the pragmatic view that they should be allowed to discuss creationism or intelligent design in science, if pupils raise the question.”

The survey was carried out by emailing 10,600 people signed up to the Teachers’ TV website, of whom 1,210 responded. The government-funded quango webcast channel (which also broadcasts on satellite and cable, and has a two-hour Freeview slot) believes that “95 per cent of [the respondents] are teachers and the remaining 5 per cent work in the wider education workforce”.

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