What We’re Dealing With Here

I know it’s an oldie-but-goodie, but yesterday I ran into someone linking to this Gallup poll from last year.

As a teacher, it’s interesting to play with the idea of replacing “evolution” with “education” in the poll, especially as the linked page notes how strongly education level plays into “belief” in evolution.  Yet the term “education” has some sort of positive (apolitical/areligious ) connotation, at least on one level, while “evolution” is both politically and religiously charged.

But polls like this show that, deep down, the words education and evolution are interchangeable.  Neither is to be trusted when you get down to it.  At least that’s what a majority of folks we teachers are educating think.  Stick that in your “five step lesson plan” teachers, and smoke it.

P.S.: And yes the word “believe”  in the poll really bothers me.  I’d like to see the numbers with a less religiously charged word employed.  But that’s just part of the Gallup/polling charm.  I could spend 8 hours a day at gallup.com, and as I’m on vacation….I just might for the next month.


2 thoughts on “What We’re Dealing With Here

  1. Do you really think that most people in NM do not trust the concept of education? I have only been here a few years, and have heard many stories about problems with our education system, but do not have any first hand experience. How do you think this can be changed? And what are people’s reasons for not trusting in our education system?

  2. Lily, the wording is always important. I think “trust the concept of education” would get a higher response than “believe in education”. I also think both wordings would be bad to put in a poll, because the lying factor would be quite high.

    The word “education” is too value positive to reflect what people are willing to do to provide a good education. Also, the level of anti-intellectualism in this country is so high that it counterbalances the value positive aspect “education”. There’s a disconnect.

    If the following question was polled:

    “Would you be willing to increase the national debt to provide for a more intellectual workforce?”

    Your numbers would be more realistic. Like most polling, the above question would almost never be used because it includes value negative terms that are perceived as skewing. Problem is, “education” is a skewing term as well…a misleadingly positive one.

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