Monday, February 3, 2014

Creationist Zoo gets education award

Noah's Ark Zoo in Bristol teaches creationism, as if it were a valid scientific viewpoint, to children. Which is terrible. What's worse, is that it's "education" has now been lauded with Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge.

The scheme itself sounds like a good thing on paper. Two of the things it sets out to do are:
  • The award of the LOtC Quality Badge indicates that the provider understands schools’ needs and can tailor their offer to fit in with both current curriculum requirements and any specific requirements of the school.
  • The LOtC Quality Badge helps you to ensure you are making the best possible use of school time and that your young people will access good quality educational experiences – ideal when justifying LOtC to your senior management team or governors.
However, we can see that these two things have been subverted. Teachers can no longer trust that LOtC quality badge does these things. As they say "The LOtC Quality Badge is the only nationally recognised indicator of good quality educational provision AND effective risk management."

Unfortunately, this means that there is no nationally recognised indicator of good quality education provision and effective risk management in the UK. Which is a shame. 

For those that take the LOtC Quality Badge at its word, they may not look too deeply into the zoo. Imagine the horror of a teacher taking their class their only to find a poster titled ""30 reasons why apes are not related to man". 

Noah's Ark does not offer quality education, and so does not deserve the LOtC Quality Badge. To help the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom get its credibility back, please do let them know how you feel:

1 comment:

  1. Here is the letter I sent them:
    "I am writing in a personal capacity, and am not representing my employers, though I would hope they would agree with what I have to say.

    I found out today that you have given an LOtC Quality Badge to the Noah's Ark Zoo in Bristol. This undermines your position as providers of awards highlighting quality education. Noah's Ark does not educate, it indoctrinates.

    To quote Prof Alice Roberts, who is a better writer than I:

    "... the "critical approach" put forward by Noah's Ark is a disingenuous redressing of a centuries-old story which has its place in our culture but has absolutely nothing to do with science education."

    You may wish to read her full article from the 8th December 2013 in The Observer, as it expresses better than I why Noah's Ark Zoo should be criticised for "education" and not lauded.

    I hope that you will remove this award from them, because, whilst organisations that are anti-education are being awarded this badge, I can no longer trust it as an indicator of good education."


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