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ERIC Number: EJ973202
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
An Evolving Controversy: The Struggle to Teach Science in Science Classes
Berkman, Michael; Plutzer, Eric
American Educator, v36 n2 p12-17, 20-23, 40 Sum 2012
Although the level of controversy varies from one community to the next, biology teachers across the United States struggle to teach evolution. Some face pressure to teach both religious and scientific theories of human origins; others did not have adequate coursework on evolution during teacher preparation. As a result, many biology teachers are minimizing controversy, but also--often unintentionally--minimizing students' comprehension of the scientific evidence and consensus on evolution. The authors concur with the National Center for Science Education that "the most effective way for scientists to help to improve the understanding of evolution" is at the pre-service level. Simply requiring a pre-service course in evolution is likely to provide cautious but well-intentioned teachers with the tools to address and minimize pressure from their communities with a greater degree of confidence. They hope that educators will be supported by their administrators and community members so they can teach evolution, climate change, the antiquity of the universe, and any other socially controversial subject with the same commitment to scientific accuracy as when they teach other topics in science. (Contains 36 endnotes.)
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A