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ERIC Number: EJ922587
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
Creatures in the Classroom: Preservice Teacher Beliefs about Fantastic Beasts, Magic, Extraterrestrials, Evolution and Creationism
Losh, Susan Carol; Nzekwe, Brandon
Science & Education, v20 n5-6 p473-489 May 2011
Faculty have long expressed concern about pseudoscience belief among students. Most US research on such beliefs examines evolution-creation issues among liberal arts students, the general public, and occasionally science educators. Because of their future influence on youth, we examined basic science knowledge and several pseudoscience beliefs among 540 female and 123 male upperclass preservice teachers, comparing them with representative samples of comparably educated American adults. Future teachers resembled national adults on basic science knowledge. Their scores on evolution; creationism; intelligent design; fantastic beasts; magic; and extraterrestrials indices depended on the topic. Exempting science education, preservice teachers rejected evolution, accepting Biblical creation and intelligent design accounts. Sizable minorities "awaited more evidence" about fantastic beasts, magic, or extraterrestrials. Although gender, disciplinary major, grade point average, science knowledge, and two religiosity measures related to beliefs about evolution-creation, these factors were generally unassociated with the other indices. The findings suggest more training is needed for preservice educators in the critical evaluation of material evidence. We also discuss the judicious use of pseudoscience beliefs in such training.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A