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SPS Statements

SPS Statement on the Subject of Evolution and Science Classroom Instruction
Adopted by the SPS Council on September 27, 2003

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The 2003 SPS Council, governing body for the Society of Physics Students and national physics honor society known as Sigma Pi Sigma, has updated its 1999 statement regarding the subject of evolution and science classroom instruction (see the 2003 statement and the original 1999 statement below). The impetus for updating the statement was two-fold—a request from the National Center for Science Education to post the 1999 statement on its website and some recent controversies regarding science textbooks in Texas.

Considerably more than the required two-thirds of the SPS Council voted for adoption of the statement. It has now completed the full adoption process as prescribed by the SPS By-Laws, and can be disseminated publicly.

2003 SPS Statement on Evolution and Science Education

Recently, some political and educational groups have attempted to undermine the importance of teaching the concepts of biological and cosmological evolution, thereby rejecting the consensus of the scientific community. Ideas about the structure and evolution of the universe, including Earth and its life forms, are unifying concepts in science. The development of students' informed views about these concepts is essential to a knowledge of science. These concepts should therefore be included and emphasized as a part of science frameworks and curricula for all students.

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) recognizes that decisions about science education standards are the purview of state and local authorities; however, the position of SPS is that such decisions should involve education experience and scientific expertise, and be based on the body of research in science, pedagogy, and cognitive development. SPS encourages science educators and scientists to participate in the development of science education standards by involving themselves in the decision-making processes of state and local school boards.

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The 1999 SPS Statement follows:

A Statement of the Society of Physics Students Regarding Science Education Standards

In a recent decision, the Kansas State Board of Education removed biological and cosmological evolution from its state Science Education Standards, thereby rejecting the consensus of a committee of experienced Kansas science teachers. Ideas about the structure and evolution of the universe, including Earth and its life forms, are unifying concepts in science. The development of students' informed views about these concepts is essential to a knowledge of science. These concepts should therefore be included as a part of science frameworks and curricula for all students.

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) recognizes that decisions about science education standards are the purview of state and local authorities; however, the position of SPS is that such decisions should involve education experience and scientific expertise, and be based on the body of research in science, pedagogy, and cognitive development. SPS encourages science educators and scientists to participate in the development of science education standards by involving themselves in the decision-making processes of state and local school boards.

 
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