ERIC Number: EJ1163550
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Experiences and Practices of Evolution Instructors at Christian Universities That Can Inform Culturally Competent Evolution Education
Barnes, M. Elizabeth; Brownell, Sara E.
Science Education, v102 n1 p36-59 Jan 2018
Students' religious beliefs and religious cultures have been shown to be the main factors predicting whether they will accept evolution, yet college biology instructors teaching evolution at public institutions often have religious beliefs and cultures that are different from their religious students. This difference in religious beliefs and cultures may be a barrier to effective evolution education. To explore when evolution instructors have similar religious cultures and beliefs as their students, we interviewed 32 evolution instructors at Christian universities nationwide about their practices and experiences teaching evolution. Christian university instructors emphasized teaching for acceptance of evolution while holding an inclusive teaching philosophy that they perceived led to a safe environment for students. Additionally, almost all instructors reported using practices that have been shown to increase student acceptance of evolution and reduce student conflict between evolution and religion. Further, we found that these instructors perceived that their own religious backgrounds have guided their decisions to teach evolution to their students in a culturally competent way. We discuss how these data, combined with past research literature on public college instructors, indicate that cultural competence could be a useful new framework for promoting effective evolution education in higher education institutions.
Descriptors: Evolution, Church Related Colleges, Beliefs, Interviews, Teaching Experience, Educational Practices, Culturally Relevant Education, Teacher Attitudes, Educational Philosophy, Christianity, College Faculty
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A