ERIC Number: EJ1012566
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
Acknowledging the Religious Beliefs Students Bring into the Science Classroom: Using the Bounded Nature of Science
Southerland, Sherry A.; Scharmann, Lawrence C.
Theory Into Practice, v52 n1 p59-65 2013
Scientific knowledge often appears to contradict many students' religious beliefs. Indeed, the assumptions of science appear contradictory to the metaphysical claims of many religions. This conflict is most evident in discussions of biological evolution. Teachers, in attempts to limit the controversy, often avoid this topic or teach it superficially. Recently, there has been a political effort to teach to the controversy--which some see as a way of introducing religious explanations for biological diversity into science classrooms. Many science educators reject this approach, insisting that teachers limit classroom discussions to science alone. This "science only" approach leaves the negotiation of alternative knowledge frameworks to students, who are often ill-prepared for such epistemological comparisons. To support students' understanding of science while maintaining their religious commitments, this article explores the utility of emphasizing the boundaries of scientific knowledge and the need to support students in their comparison of contradictory knowledge frameworks.
Descriptors: Beliefs, Theory Practice Relationship, Religious Factors, Science Education, Scientific Principles, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Epistemology, Student Diversity, Evolution, Culture Conflict, Teaching Methods, Educational Practices
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A