. . . An NCEA (NZ’s public examination system) working group referred to science as a “Western European invention”. We strongly objected to that particular characterization since science is universal. One recent extreme of some astonishing views being introduced, for example, claims that “to insist Māori children learn to read is an act of colonisation” [see here].
. . .The inherent bias against students in suggesting that rather than a sound grounding in mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics, there is to be parity with non-scientific systems such as mātauranga Māori, will be massively counterproductive for all students, but especially biased against Māori.
Māori are good students when they are afforded the proper opportunity to learn, and I have specific knowledge and experience of this based on my past formal roles in Māori education. Their right to unbiased access to optimal education, if they wish, should be protected vigorously.Jerry Coyne, “Garth Cooper explains why he resigned from New Zealand’s Royal Society” at Why Evolution Is True (March 24, 2022)
Yes, but a good education in science for Maori children would interfere with the goals of the war on science and the war on math — producing the dreaded result that the Maori students grow up into competent critics of the establishment who know nonsense when they hear it. In the view of some, there are already far too many people like that around.
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New Zealand’s Royal Society grudgingly lets off two scientists who critiqued “Indigenous ways of knowing” taught as science Jerry Coyne: As I said, the controversy over the hegemony of MM [Indigenous ways of knowing taught as science] in science continues, and if I know anything about New Zealand educational politics, MM will worm its way into science class. All the new RSNZ statement does is exculpate two scientists unfairly accused of misbehavior and harm for saying that MM, while worthy of being taught, is not coequal with modern science.
Jerry Coyne on the war on math, science, in New Zealand – and falling scores
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