Biology professors' and teachers' positions regarding biological evolution and evolution education in a middle eastern society

Saouma BouJaoude, Anila Asghar, Jason R. Wiles, Lama Jaber, Diana Sarieddine, Brian Alters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated three questions: (1) What are Lebanese secondary school (Grade 9-12) biology teachers' and university biology professors' positions regarding biological evolution?, (2) How do participants' religious affiliations relate to their positions about evolutionary science?, and (3) What are participants' positions regarding evolution education? Participants were 20 secondary school biology teachers and seven university biology professors. Seventy percent of the teachers and 60% of the professors were Muslim. Data came from semi-structured interviews with participants. Results showed that nine (Christian or Muslim Druze) teachers accepted the theory, five (four Muslim) rejected it because it contradicted religious beliefs, and three (Muslim) reinterpreted it because evolution did not include humans. Teachers who rejected or reinterpreted the evolutionary theory said that it should not be taught (three), evolution and creationism should be given equal time (two), or students should be allowed to take their own stand. Two professors indicated that they taught evolution explicitly and five said that they integrated it in other biology content. One Muslim professor said that she stressed 'the role of God in creation during instruction on evolution'. It seems that years of studying and teaching biology have not had a transformative effect on how a number of teachers and professors think about evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-1000
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Volume33
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2011

Keywords

  • Alternative conception
  • Biology education
  • Qualitative research
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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