NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
ERIC Number: ED625599
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2022-Sep-5
Pages: 109
Abstractor: As Provided
Evolution vs. Creationism in the Classroom: the Lasting Effects of Science Education. Program on Education Policy and Governance Working Papers Series. PEPG 22-01
Arold, Benjamin W.
Program on Education Policy and Governance
Anti-scientific attitudes can impose substantial costs on societies. Can schools be an important agent in mitigating the propagation of such attitudes? This paper investigates the effect of the content of science education on anti-scientific attitudes, knowledge, and choices. The analysis exploits staggered reforms that reduce or expand the coverage of evolution theory in US state science education standards. I compare adjacent cohorts in models with state and cohort fixed effects and conduct fine-grained placebo tests to rule out scientific, religious and political confounders. There are three main results. First, expanded evolution coverage increases students' knowledge about evolution. Second, the reforms translate into greater evolution belief in adulthood, but do not crowd out religiosity or affect political attitudes. Third, the reforms affect high-stakes life decisions, namely the probability of working in life sciences.
Program on Education Policy and Governance. Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, 79 John F. Kennedy Street, Taubman 304, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: 617-495-7976; Fax: 617-496-4428; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) (Germany); Leibniz Competition (Germany)
Authoring Institution: Harvard University, Program on Education Policy and Governance
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: General Social Survey; National Assessment of Educational Progress; American Community Survey
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A