Creationist zoo wins education prize

The controversial zoo which pushes a creationist agenda has apparently won an educational prize, says the British Humanist Association (BHA condemns “appalling decision” to give education award to creationist zoo).  The BHA says:

The BHA has strongly condemned the decision of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom to award the creationist Noah’s Ark Zoo in Wraxall, near Bristol, a ‘Quality Badge’ in recognition of its educational programme.

The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom was established by the previous government to promote educational visits for schoolchildren. Its Quality Badge is intended to assist schools in identifying external organisations, such as museums, who are ‘committed to providing high quality teaching and learning experiences’. The Quality Badge was awarded to Noah’s Ark Zoo following a visit by assessors in June.

This absurd Zoo was much talked about last year (see for example Creationist zoo causes dismay in the ranks of the humanists, New Humanist article – a visit to Noah’s Ark Zoo and Creationist zoo suspended….  A so-called “zoo” which not only seeks to push creationism on visitors, many of whom are children, but seeks to discredit whole branches of science, such as evolution, radiocarbon dating and the like should not be awarded any kind of educational award.

Who are the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom?  Well, a quick Google search locates their website at http://www.lotc.org.uk, where we find the following:

Who are the CLOtC?

We are a registered charity existing to promote and champion Learning Outside the Classroom so all children and young people can benefit from increased opportunities for high quality and varied educational experiences. The Council took over responsibility for the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto in April 2009.

What do CLOtC do?

The Council champions learning outside the classroom and encourages young people to get out and about because research shows that children learn best through real life experiences.

The Council aims to be the leading voice for learning outside the classroom:

  • Influencing and challenging learning outside the classroom policy and practice
  • Raising the profile of learning outside the classroom and promoting the benefits
  • Providing support for education and LOtC professionals, aiming for high quality learning outside the classroom that meets the needs of young people

If an avowedly pro-creationist zoo can earn an LOtC award, one wonders what other awards have been made.  Vehicles for the propagation of falsehoods should not be awarded educational prizes. The very name Noah’s Ark Zoo should have raised alarm bells.

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