Evolution_Study - J Sci Teacher Educ (2007) 18:699723 DOI

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Does Increasing Biology Teacher Knowledge of Evolution and the Nature of Science Lead to Greater Preference for the Teaching of Evolution in Schools? Ross H. Nehm A Irvin Sam Schonfeld Published online: 5 July 2007 Ó Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007 Abstract This study investigated whether or not an increase in secondary science teacher knowledge about evolution and the nature of science gained from com- pleting a graduate-level evolution course was associated with greater preference for the teaching of evolution in schools. Forty-four precerti±ed secondary biology teachers participated in a 14-week intervention designed to address documented misconceptions identi±ed by a precourse instrument. The course produced statisti- cally signi±cant gains in teacher knowledge of evolution and the nature of science and a signi±cant decrease in misconceptions about evolution and natural selection. Nevertheless, teachers’ postcourse preference positions remained unchanged; the majority of science teachers still preferred that antievolutionary ideas be taught in school. Keywords Evolution Á Evolution education Á Biology education Á Natural selection Á Intelligent design Á Creationism Á Science teachers Introduction Despite the remarkable successes of evolutionary biology in the past century, and the fundamental role of evolution in new scienti±c disciplines with direct ties to R. H. Nehm ( & ) College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210-1172, USA e-mail: [email protected] I. S. Schonfeld Education and Psychology, The City College, The City University of New York, New York, NY 10031, USA I. S. Schonfeld The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, New York, NY 10016-4309, USA 123 J Sci Teacher Educ (2007) 18:699–723 DOI 10.1007/s10972-007-9062-7
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everyday life (e.g., evolutionary medicine, pharmacogenomics, and genomic sciences), antievolutionism (creationism, creation ‘‘science’’, or intelligent design) remains pervasive and widespread in the United States. Antievolutionary views are commonly held by members of the general public (e.g., Brooks 2001 ; Newport 2006 ), high school students (e.g., Clough and Wood-Robinson 1985 ; Deadman and Kelly 1978 ; Demastes et al. 1995 ; Stallings 1996 ), undergraduate students (e.g., Bishop and Anderson 1990 ), undergraduate biology majors (e.g., Dagher and BouJaoude 1997 ; Grose and Simpson 1982 ), medical students (e.g., Brumby 1984 ), and science teachers (e.g., Affanato 1986 ; Nehm and Sheppard 2004 ; Osif 1997 ; Pankratius 1993 ; Tatina 1989 ; Zimmerman 1987 ). The problem of antievolutionism is one of the greatest challenges for biology education because biologists consider evolution to be the unifying concept of the discipline. The maturing Feld of evolution education faces three core challenges: (a) to understand the interrelationships among cognitive, affective, epistemological, and religious variables that contribute to antievolutionary views in individuals of different ages and educational backgrounds; (b) to design, implement, and evaluate interventions that promote accurate cognitive models of evolution; and (c) to reduce
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2011 for the course PHYS 6198 taught by Professor Cohor during the Summer '10 term at LSU.

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Evolution_Study - J Sci Teacher Educ (2007) 18:699723 DOI

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