ASA Science Education Commission
(excerpts from ASA Annual Reports, 2003 & 2004)
The ASA is an organization of scientists — and
engineers, and scholars in fields related to science, such as history of science,
philosophy of science, and science education — who are Christians.
The Science Education Commission is only one part of the overall educational mission of ASA. In addition to ASA members working as individuals and in other commissions and affiliates, there is the ASA/Templeton Lecture Series, and the ASA Lay Education Project that will "enable lay members of Christian churches to understand...the appropriate use of God's dual revelations...in the Bible and in nature" by using the earth's age as a topic for study. The work of ASA includes efforts to improve education inside schools (public, private, and home, in K-12 through college) and outside schools in the Christian community and in society as a whole.
In his Presidential Report for 2000, Jay Hollman described some of the many ministry possibilities and challenged us to invest the time and effort needed to fulfill "the vision of what ASA could be if..." And at the annual meeting in July 2003, Keith Miller urged us to be good "stewards of knowledge" by wisely using the abilities, experiences, and opportunities given to us by God.
Although the Science
Education Commission is open to new ideas, currently our main project is
a website that
will help teachers motivate students, improve their knowledge and thinking
skills, and provide Christian perspectives on science and nature. It
has seven areas: Teaching Methods, Teaching Activities, World Views, Origins
Questions, Learning Skills, Thinking Skills, and Nature of Science.
Many parts of this website are similar to secular efforts aimed at improving education. But we offer a different perspective with significant "added value" for worldviews and origins. The area that is most likely to be noticed, and to make a positive impact in the Christian and educational communities, is Origins Questions, which will be the main focus for development in the near future.
Most members of ASA agree with the ASA Resolution (1991) proposing that science teachers should avoid the "wasteful controversy generated by inappropriate entanglement of the scientific concept of evolution with political, philosophical, or religious perspectives." But sometimes we disagree about how this should be done, so our website will take a "multiple positions" approach that "reflects the diversity of views within our organization and in the Christian community. ... Instead of claiming to provide the Origins Answer, we'll explore interesting Origins Questions. ... We'll try to handle our differences in a productive way, with accurate portrayal of all views, rigorous critical thinking, and respectful attitudes. ... Our goal is to help you understand the wide range of views about theology and science" so you can evaluate each view based on its scientific and theological merits.
If you have any ideas that might help ASA fulfill its educational mission, please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) or join our discussion in the ASA Science Education Forum. (but the entire forum board was board was discontinued in late 2005) In October 2004 we'll mail a newsletter (see links below) that has "future news" about what will be happening (hopefully) in the near future, plus information about how you can help improve the Science Ed Website, and ideas about Christian Education by Mark Witwer.
The newsletter (October 2004) is available as PDF or HTML.
This page — written by Craig Rusbult, chair of the ASA Science Education Commission, based on information from Annual Reports written in March 2003 & 2004 (for activities of the commission during 2002 & 2003 & planned for 2004) — is http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/comm/report04.htm
homepage for ASA Science Education Commission