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ERIC Number: EJ910713
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 73
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Philosophical Approaches of Religious Jewish Science Teachers toward the Teaching of "Controversial" Topics in Science
Dodick, Jeff; Dayan, Aliza; Orion, Nir
International Journal of Science Education, v32 n11 p1521-1548 Jul 2010
This research examines the problems that religious Jewish science teachers in Israeli high schools have in coping with science subjects (such as geological time) which conflict with their religious beliefs. We do this by characterizing the philosophical approaches within Judaism that such teachers have adopted for dealing with such controversy. Thus, we surveyed 56 religious teachers using a Likert-type questionnaire developed for this research, as well as interviewed 11 teachers to more deeply probe their approaches. In addition, we surveyed 15 religious scientists, so that we could both contrast their views with our teacher samples as well as to better understand their coping strategies when confronted by scientific topics that challenge their beliefs. Results indicated that no single philosophical approach earned overwhelming support from the teachers or scientists. Instead, most of the subjects relate separately to each source of possible conflict in accordance with the philosophical approach that appears to be the most fruitful for resolving such conflicts. Moreover, both the scientists and the teachers felt less conflicted toward the specific subject of geological time, in comparison to issues connected to creation of the earth and (especially) evolution. The teachers did differ from the scientists in their preference toward philosophical approaches which help them better integrate the domains of science and religion. Based on our findings, we are able to suggest a set of strategies to help teachers overcome their difficulties in teaching "controversial" science topics to a religiously oriented student population. (Contains 4 tables and 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel