ERIC Number: ED340603
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Teaching Evolution: Understanding, Concerns, and Instructional Approaches.
Scharmann, Lawrence C.; Harris, William M., Jr.
As part of an investigation of the influence of a 3-week institute upon secondary biology and earth science teachers regarding their self-confidence with respect to the teaching of evolutionary principles, 19 inservice teachers participated in discussions of content presentations and instructional activities. The following research questions were proposed: (1) To what extent can a 3-week institute influence teachers' understanding of the nature of science, acceptance of the theory of evolution, and understanding of applied evolutionary principles? (measured by the Nature of Science Scale); (2) Can a 3-week institute reduce teachers' self-perceived anxieties regarding the teaching of evolution? (assessed by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory); and (3) What concerns might teachers have regarding the potential use of a student-centered peer discussion as an instructional strategy to teach evolution? (measured by the Stages of Concern Instrument). At the conclusion of the institute, which was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, participants showed significant increases in acceptance of the theory of evolution and content understanding of evolution, as well as significant reduction in anxiety. Moderate to strong consideration of peer discussion technique was also apparent. (23 references) (KR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Kansas State Univ., Manhattan. Center for Science Education.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (Lake Geneva, WI, April 7-10, 1991).