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The Inclusion of Intelligent Design in Social Studies

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Hess addressed the idea of teaching intelligent design in social studies verses science. Many critics feel teaching intelligent design gives the idea too much validity, “placing it next to science. Many believe that intelligent design is a mask for religious pedagogy, which infringes on the separation of church and state.

Some have gone as far as to call the inclusion of intelligent design in science classes the “indoctrination of religious ideals on students. As most policymakers do, those involved in this debate wishing to please both sides have simply suggested moving the subject of intelligent design to another academic field (social studies). The article includes interviews and studies done. Simply moving intelligent design to another academic field does not solve the problem of giving it validity within public schools if indeed it is to be deemed “religious in nature. To move intelligent design to social studies with the expectation that students will get the same lesson as if it were in science is not realistic. Those who teach science take a very different approach to how they deliver information from those who teach social studies.

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The scientific approach to intelligent design is much different then the societal implication of the idea. Scientist can prove or disprove parts of, if not the whole theory of intelligent design, while social studies teachers would more then likely cover the social ramifications of intelligent design within our society. One could even make the argument that it should be covered in both areas of concentration to offer the students a more complete scheme of intelligent design.

Simply moving intelligent design across academic boarders is not the answer. We as a society need to decide not even if intelligent design is religious or not, but if we can handle the idea of this being taught in schools. Whether intelligent design is religious or not is of no consequence in my mind. If explained in a cretin fashion, or simply as one of two theories we have, I do not see how including intelligent design in science and social studies would have a negative effect on students. I am glad that the article did not attempt to sway its readers on one side or the other. I feel it is better to give the children an unbiased version of both evolution and intelligent design. There should be a focus in science first before even considering working it into a social studies curriculum. How can you expect a student to comprehend the effects of intelligent design on our society and policies if the theory of intelligent design is not defined and discussed in the scientific realm? The article enlightened me to the idea of including intelligent design in other areas outside of science, and the possible ramifications, which I had not considered in the past.

The article focused mainly on the inclusion of intelligent design in social studies. Sample curriculums were given to current educators, which sparked debates. This approach was good, but overall, I feel that the argument is premature and really masking the underlying issue, which is “should we include intelligent design in any school curriculum. Until we as a society can answer this question, any questions resulting cannot be answered such as, if “not science, how about social studies.

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