ERIC Number: EJ1046920
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
What Is the "One Thing" You Should Know before Teaching about Evolution?
Primary Science, n135 p32-33 Nov 2014
In practice, in the classroom, teachers are still faced with the issue of what to say to children if they believe that evolution conflicts with their own or other people's religious faith. When asked how they plan to respond, most teacher trainees and teachers respond that they will be a neutral chair and try to give children a balanced view. While the author sees the point of this, Billingsley also points out that there is an opportunity to help children make progress in their understanding of evolution and of how evolution and religion relate. The risk with stepping back from the controversy is that some children will be left thinking that this is a debate with only two sides--and that is a misrepresentation of the range of perspectives people have. Billingsley suggests there are three stances that children should know about: atheistic evolution, theistic evolution, and young earth creationism. By teaching about the different ways in which people respond to evolution, the debate is opened up so that children are aware that they do not have to choose between science and religion. The article closes by suggesting that perhaps "one thing" to know before teaching about evolution is that evolution--and science more generally--provide insights we can "add" to our big picture of what we notice and value about being human, and does not need to be "instead of"! A combined list of web sites and references is provided.
Descriptors: Elementary School Science, Science Instruction, Evolution, Teaching Methods, Scientific Concepts, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Religious Factors, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Role, Misconceptions, Holistic Approach
Association for Science Education. College Lane Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AA, UK. Tel: +44-1-707-283000; Fax: +44-1-707-266532; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.ase.org.uk
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A