On Friday, 15 December 2007, the Certification Advisory Council of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) recommended that the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research be allowed to offer on-line Master’s degrees in science education. According to the report prepared by THECB on-site evaluators, “The proposed degree would be generally comparable to an initial master’s degree in science education from one of the smaller, regional universities in the state.”
ICR, like Answers in Genesis, espouses Young Earth Creationism, a literal view of the Bible that contends the Earth is less than 10,000 years old. This world-view permeates the ICR graduate program in Science Teacher Education where its intent is to “assist the learner in developing creation apologetics in his/her science classroom” and “teach the learner how to develop curriculum, instructional strategies, and classroom activities related to creation science thus helping the science teacher equip his/her students with truth.”
ICR is seeking approval from the THECB to begin offering degrees immediately while waiting for accreditation from the state-recognized Southern Association of Schools and Colleges. The full THECB will consider the ICR request on 24 January 2008.
Science education advocates - already irritated by Texas Education Agency policies that require “neutrality” towards evolution and the threat that Intelligent Design proponents pose to the upcoming review of state science standards - are outraged by these latest developments.
Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, told the Dallas Morning News (15 December 2007), “They teach distorted science. Any student coming out from the ICR with a degree in science would not be competent to teach in Texas public schools.”
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