Nobody talks to little kids about evolution. Adults treat it like a hush-hush topic around anybody younger than, say, 12. And in school? Fugeddaboudit.
But wait! Along comes the Concord Consortium, a research group in Concord MA that is studying how best to teach evolution to 4th graders. Yes, that's right, 4th graders, otherwise known as nine- or ten-year-olds.
Oh, it's magnificent. They have a computer-based curriculum that will be tested in twelve classrooms around the country, and they'll check to see how well kids learn from it. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation, which blows my mind. One tiny little branch of our government is actively supporting evolution education for young kids!?
Best of all, the investigators are incorporating some Charlie's Playhouse products into the curriculum. Hooray! This feels like the ground floor of some large edifice with "The Future" carved on top in big letters.
Next week I'll attend a training session at Concord with all the teachers from around the country. Stay tuned for more blogging from there....