State climate curriculum says ’emotions’ should outweigh ‘rational thinking’
By Reagan Reese
Daily Caller News Foundation
The Washington state Department of Health’s climate curriculum instructs teachers to focus on “emotions” over “rational thinking,” according to curriculum lesson plans.
The Washington state Department of Health released a five part curriculum to help students learn the “intersections of biological, societal, and environmental issues.” The second phase of the curriculum, “Climate Change & Pregnancy,” tells educators and students to “pay attention” to their emotions as “for too long” science has caused “rational thinking” to be prioritized.
“As teachers and students consider the impacts of climate change, we should be mindful of the emotional dimensions of the human experience,” the curriculum stated. “For too long, science and science education have prioritized my rational thinking. As we delve more deeply into the impacts of climate change using the [Washington Tracking Network] data and the practices of the Next Generation Science Standards, we must learn to pay attention to our own emotions and those of other people.”
The curriculum notes that emotions “signal alignment or discord between cultural values and technical assertions” and that failing to acknowledge emotions reflects “arrogance.” Ignoring emotions can also “weaken important relationships for getting things done,” the climate change curriculum noted.
Disregarding “rational thinking” in a science curriculum can be disadvantageous to students and society, Todd Myers, environmental director of the Washington Policy Center, a group that focuses on “public policy based on free-market solutions,” told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Saying that we have overemphasized ‘rational thinking’ in what is supposed to be a scientific curriculum is not only foolish, it is harmful to people and the environment,” Myers told the DCNF.
The curriculum also asks students to consider “sexism in science” which includes “subtle discussion dynamics” and “abuse of power.” Students are asked to raise their hand if they have experienced any sexism such as “unwilling to learn about issues important to women” and “eye rolling and jokes.”
“Ultimately, attacking rational thinking is just a way to justify policies that are irrational and unscientific,” Myers told the DCNF. “When the science doesn’t support a policy, advocates can simply claim that we shouldn’t be bound by rationality and should go with our feelings. It is a recipe for policy based on tantrums rather than data.”