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article imageStudents in Alabama will be required to learn about evolution

By Owen Weldon     Sep 14, 2015 in Lifestyle
Alabama is updating its science standards to require students to learn about climate change and to understand evolution.
Educators said the new rules don't require students to believe in evolution, nor do they have to accept the idea that climate is changing around the world. This marks the first time that public school students will be required to understand the theory of evolution.
The last time Alabama set state science standards was in 2005, and when it was updated there wasn't a focus on teachers addressing climate change. However, the new rules make this a focus.
The new rules will go into effect in 2016. This comes after the new standards were approved last Thursday by the Alabama State Board of Education.
Steve Ricks, director of the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative, said the new rules show that Alabama is serious about teaching science.
Instead of relying just on lectures, as well as memorization of facts from books, teachers will let students figure out subjects on their own via observation, as well as experimentation. Ricks said he didn't see how students could learn the material without actually doing the science. He added that they are trying to teach students how to solve problems.
Textbooks used in science classes throughout Alabama have had warnings on them saying evolution is a controversial theory and not fact. The new guidelines will not change these warnings. However, a committee may consider whether or not to remove the stickers or alter them. A public hearing is set for next month.
More about Alabama, Students, Learn, Evolution, Climate change
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