Senator calls for more innovation in schools, clarifies his statement on teaching creationism

10/01/2012 07:25 AM

Sen. David Givens, a Republican from Greensburg, said he was surprised by the reaction from Kentuckians when he was quoted earlier this year expressing his preference for creationism to be taught in science classes alongside evolution.

“At no point in any conversation have I denied evolution. Now in my faith model, God can certainly work through evolution to achieve his outcomes. And I’m comforatable with that. Part of the beauty of our democratic system and our democracy is that we can have different faith models arrive in the same classroom,” Givens said on Pure Politics last week.

Givens said he wants students to hear different theories as to how the evolutionary process began and let them discuss and debate that. (At 7:30 in the interview.)

“My Christian faith believes in a divine spark … My response to that reporter was, if that is creationism, then I’m very comfortable with creationism being taught along side evolution in a science classroom as part of a critical thinking approach,” Givens said.

As for the backlash he received, Givens said “wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be that passionate about education in a broader sense?” he said (4:30).

Givens is among several senators who could be candidates to take over the Senate Education Committee from Republican Sen. Ken Winters, R-Murray, who is retiring at the end of the year.

During the interview, Givens answered questions about ongoing efforts to spur innovation in the classrooms and across school districts even as state funding for education has stagnated and begun to backslide.

“We don’t have resources to give to someone to try something new and innovative. You better bring to us what you’re doing and what you’re committed to and what you’re passionate about. And if you want to apply for resources to amplify that effort, I think that’s a great way to put some money,” Givens said (2:30).

Givens was among several state lawmakers who attended a roundtable at J.B. Atkinson Academy for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Louisville last week. He said he was impressed with the way that elementary school was instilling in students the expectations that they go to college (0:20).

Givens also answered questions about state education mandates (3:00) and

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