ERIC Number: EJ1161370
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Preparing Preservice K-8 Teachers for the Public School: Improving Evolution Attitudes, Misconceptions, and Legal Confusion
Vaughn, Ashley R.; Robbins, Jennifer R.
Journal of College Science Teaching, v47 n2 p7-15 Nov 2017
Evolutionary theory is a central tenet of biological science, and it is essential for all science teachers, early childhood through secondary, to have a clear understanding of not only the science behind evolution, but also the legal precedents for teaching evolution in the classroom. This study examines the effectiveness of a curriculum on preservice teachers' attitudes and knowledge of evolution and legalities of teaching it. We used a curriculum designed to encourage conceptual change with two cohorts of preservice teachers. The second cohort was also assigned a research paper on legal issues surrounding evolution in the classroom. Our analysis supports the effectiveness of this curriculum in fighting misconceptions and improving attitudes, with a further boost from the assigned paper. These findings support prior work showing direct confrontation of misconceptions is effective in generating change. It is important for teachers to have not only a firm grasp on the content they will teach, but also a clear understanding of the laws regarding the teaching of this content. Our findings support the need for direct instruction for preservice teachers on the legality surrounding "controversial" educational topics.
Descriptors: Preservice Teachers, Science Teachers, Evolution, Public Schools, Public School Teachers, Elementary School Teachers, Elementary School Science, Scientific Attitudes, Misconceptions, Student Attitudes, Control Groups, Quasiexperimental Design, Science Instruction, Biology, Introductory Courses, Middle School Teachers, Pretests Posttests
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Tests/Questionnaires; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio (Cincinnati)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A