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ERIC Number: ED514825
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 206
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-3965-0
ISSN: N/A
Teaching Evolution in New Jersey Public High Schools: Examining the Influence of Personal Belief and Religious Background on Teaching Practices
Smith, Carlen
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
The purpose of this study was to determine relationships between New Jersey biology teachers' personal characteristics and religious backgrounds and the time spent and approach to teaching evolution. The research instrument chosen was a cross-sectional survey. Survey questions were presented in various forms: fill in, single response, Likert scale, and open ended. The questions were grouped into five sections: demographics, curriculum content, time allotment and instructional strategies, religious background, and personal beliefs toward evolution. Surveys were sent to 60 New Jersey high school biology teachers, who were state certified in life sciences and taught various levels of biology from lower level through advanced placement. 24 of the 60 teachers returned a completed survey, a 40% response rate. Data analysis was completed using the SPSS Student Version 16.0 computer program. The majority of collected data was at nominal and ratio level, allowing for both parametric and non-parametric statistical tests. Parametric tests used included "t" tests, ANOVA, and Pearson "r." Non-parametric tests used included Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis. Parametric tests were originally used to make comparisons; non-parametric tests were conducted when equal variances could not be assumed and/or results indicated no evidence of significant differences. Open ended responses were compared to quantitative data to uncover discrepancies in answers and provide a better understanding of beliefs. Teachers' religions and religious ideals were compared to the amount of time allotted for topics concerning evolution, amount of emphasis on topics, and instructional strategies. Teachers' religious beliefs and practices were compared to the amount of time allotted for topics concerning evolution, amount of emphasis on topics, and instructional strategies. Teachers' beliefs in regard to evolution were compared to the amount of time allotted for topics concerning evolution, amount of emphasis on topics, and instructional strategies. Teachers' beliefs in regard to evolution were compared to personal characteristics. Teachers' beliefs in regard to evolution were compared to religions, religious ideals, and religious practices. Based on the statistical analysis for each comparison, no significant relationships were identified. It was concluded a teacher's personal attitudes and religious practices did not affect his/her approach to teaching evolution. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey