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Dinosaurs in Public Schools



As I put the finishing touches on a curriculum guide for an 
interdisciplinary elementary school dinosaur unit, it occurs to me that 
it would be nice to put in an article about what paleontologists wish 
kids would learn about dinosaurs in school.

Something like this was a thread in the dinosaur list some two years ago 
or so, I think. I'm inviting responses again because 1) many more people 
are now subscribing to this list, and 2) I'd like to categorize the 
responses according to the profession/avocation of the respondee.

To keep the digest form of this list down to a manageable size, please 
respond to my e-mail address rather than to the whole list. I will 
collect the responses over the next week or so and compile a consensus 
which I will post to this list when all the responses are in.

To summarize, I am looking for:
        1. a list of things you wish kids in school would learn about
dinosaurs
        2. some identification of your background (i.e., professional 
paleontologist; museum docent; dinosaur enthusiast; K-12 teacher; 
professional astronomer; artist; high school student, etc.

Example:
        I'm a public school media specialist and I wish kids would learn that
        1. not all dinosaurs lived at the same time
        2. T. rex is not the only meat-eating dinosaur with two claws, 
short arms, and a huge head (I'm tired of them telling me that the 
dinosaur on the cover of Patricia Lauber's _The News about Dinosaurs_ is 
a T. rex)
        3. that kids in high school biology would learn something about
cladistics

-----------------end of example---------------------------------------------

Please feel free to include any of the the three suggestions in my example, 
as I will tally how many responses I get for a particular aspect of dinosaur 
information. (If you think kids should learn about cladistics even before 
high school, please give an indication of at what grade level you think 
it would be appropriate to introduce this or any other concept.)

Thanks.

----- Amado Narvaez
      anarvaez@umd5.umd.edu