NCTE Session Summaries
Sunday, October 8
Reports from working groups

Each of the five working groups that met yesterday presented a summary of their discussions and a list of suggested action plans. A general discussion followed these presentations. In addition, Lisa White and Michael Howell, representing the National Association for Black Geologists and Geophysicists, informed the participants of the need for educational sensitivity with respect to diversity. The scientific community needs to become more aware of the issues and questions of concern of ethnic cultures regarding evolution.

Suggested action plans and next steps

Each participant was given the opportunity to express a desired next step, thoughts, or reflections. Several immediate action items were identified and will be implemented by the Steering Committee. These include:

  • develop a one-page summary of the meeting and disseminate to all participants to take back to their respective organizations
  • collate all proposed action items into a "workable" list of short term and long term action plans and disseminate to all participants
  • collate all resources provided by participants into a single database for distribution (Note: see the NCTE Resource Matrix, now available at this website)
  • update the NCTE website with summaries of the meeting
  • send out an evaluation form to all participants to get feedback on the meeting
  • publish a final report of the meeting to include all executive summaries and proposed action items. This will be published by the Geological Society of America.

In addition, there was general agreement on three key issues:

1. NCSE continues to play an essential role in the support of the teaching of evolution. The majority of those present felt that societies should be encouraged to support NCSE in their efforts.

2. The participants agreed that it is important that societies increase their efforts in support of teaching evolution. Those present agreed that a simple statement of resolution posted on websites would be a good first step. The following statement was suggested:

Evolution is good science. Understanding evolution and the nature of science is important to society. [Our society] supports teaching evolution and the nature of science in our nation's classrooms, museums, and informal science centers.

3. We need to prioritize the action items developed from this conference into short term and long term items and make sure that something happens!

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