We had a staff development meeting today. A primary focus of the training was that when students come to school, they need to feel welcome, supported, accepted, and safe.
At the end of a discussion regarding policies and practices, the presenter shared this video about mirror neurons. In essence it says that scientists believe that what separated humans from other species as we evolved were these mirror neurons which allow us to feel what others are feeling, even when we aren't actually experiencing it ourselves.
I can verify my experience with this phenomena as I remember nearly diving off my chair during the Summer Olympics and lunging from side to side with the Winter Olympic lugers. I also regularly twitch with Super Mario when Mr. Sophanne is playing video games.
The main reason for sharing this video was to demonstrate (with the support of scientific research) that the moods and dispositions of teachers have direct effects on those of their students.
To me, science = cool. Science of the brain = more cooler.
At the end of the presentation, my colleagues were asked to comment and discuss. One teacher said "I quit listening once he said evolution. I didn't come from a monkey." Eight (or more) others said "Me too."
I was incredulous. When I shared this incredulity with what I falsely assumed to be one of my more forward thinking colleagues, she said, "they are entitled to their opinions but they should be informed of the other side."
The most horrifying part to me was that I was the only one that was horrified.
It's science people.