I discovered today that many of my fellow future science teachers are in fact highly religious. (…)
Education is an arm against ignorance, not against indoctrination. (…)
(…) How can a teacher teach kids how to use these tools when he himself doesn’t seem to know how to use them?
(…) It hasn’t rendered them any less critical than other people except for that one area of their lives that is beyond criticism. That one area is their god, and thankfully our law forbids them from bringing god into the classroom the same way their beliefs forbid them from bringing logic into church.
Religious doctors don’t pray away the illness. Religious software developers don’t exorcize bugs. Religious high school teachers don’t turn to god for an explanation as to why potassium reacts violently with water. All these jobs require inquisitiveness and critical thinking, and the brainwashing hasn’t robbed them of that.
I totally missed this discussion when it was happening. So I’ll add my thoughts now.
I disagree that the lack of critical thinking only applies to the one aspect of their lives. Allowing the logic that “no matter what evidence is put before me I will still believe” creates a gap into which other incorrect and misguided ideas and thoughts can penetrate and take hold. You mentioned the tea-baggers and health-reform. Don’t you think it’s interesting that the majority of them are also highly religious?
Your comparison to doctors and software developers is a red-herring. Of course a religious doctor can perform surgery just as a religious science teacher can teach science. And just like being a good doctor, being a good teacher requires more than just critical thinking. But that’s not the point here, by pure definition science is a process of thinking and the antithesis to religious thinking. A doctor isn’t showing you how to think like a doctor when they perform surgery, however a science teacher is showing you how to think when they teach.
The extent that these ideas will influence their teaching I don’t know, but I suspect at the very least it will influence the value they place on critical thinking in the classroom. While these future teachers may be able to explain a chemical reaction and run through the curriculum, will they invoke excitement in new discovery, challenge students to question facts and encourage them to apply scientific/critical thinking to all aspects of their lives; advertising, the news, school-yard gossip, if they don’t adhere to the ideology themselves?
It’s one thing to teach kids, it’s another thing to educate them.