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ERIC Number: EJ864322
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0160-7561
Nourishing the Spirit, Reflection and Dialogue with Our Students on the Question of Intelligent Design: What Are We Likely to Encounter and How Might We Proceed?
Zigler, Ronald Lee
Philosophical Studies in Education, v40 p211-221 2009
In her 1993 text "Educating For Intelligent Belief and Unbelief," Nel Noddings advocated an ambitious plan to challenge the students; she wished to engage them in a dialogue on the religious issues that define those questions, which "matter deeply to everyone." This was seen as a dialogue that can take place at all levels of education, but was initially aimed at helping teachers learn to explore links between traditional subject matter and profound existential and religious questions. More recently there has been a chorus of citizens who have called for just this: the linking of thoughts on intelligent design and the origin of humankind with traditional school subject matter: namely biology. In many respects, the emergence of intelligent design theory represents an attempt by some citizens to infuse the science curriculum with profound existential and religious questions: precisely what Noddings had called for. This paper aims to contribute to the process of transforming this controversy into an educable moment. It does so in the spirit of both Noddings and John Dewey who encouraged both dialogue as well as scientific inquiry into those matters of supreme significance. Furthermore, since as Dewey observed, the problematic situations that educators encounter should become the stimulus for research, the author has launched an inquiry to better understand the terrain on which educators may deliberate with their students about the controversy over intelligent design. To that end, the author initiated an assessment of the students themselves and the ideological perspectives that they bring to the classroom. One hundred eighty-six undergraduate students have been surveyed to find out where they stand on a number of questions pertinent to religion, religious scripture, spirituality and the question of whether or not there even should be a dialogue on the controversy over intelligent design in a public school classroom. A brief summary of the results of this research is presented. Finally recommendations will be advanced on how people might proceed should they wish to foster a dialogue on these issues. (Contains 19 notes.)
Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A