Effects of an Educational Experience Incorporating an Inventory of Factors Potentially Influencing Student Acceptance of Biological Evolution

Jason R. Wiles, Brian Alters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

This investigation provides an extensive review of scientific, religious, and otherwise non-scientific factors that may influence student acceptance of biological evolution. We also measure the extent to which students' levels of acceptance changed following an educational experience designed to address an inclusive inventory of factors identified as potentially affecting student acceptance of evolution (n = 81, pre-test/post-test) n = 37, one-year longitudinal). Acceptance of evolution was measured using the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) instrument among participants enrolled in a secondary-level academic programme during the summer prior to their final year of high school and as they transitioned to the post-secondary level. Student acceptance of evolution was measured to be significantly higher than initial levels both immediately following and over one year after the educational experience. Results reported herein carry implications for future quantitative and qualitative research as well as for cross-disciplinary instruction plans related to evolutionary science and non-scientific factors which may influence student understanding of evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2559-2585
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Volume33
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

Keywords

  • Biology education
  • Creationism
  • Evolution acceptance
  • Evolution education
  • Nature of science
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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