Educational Malpractice: The Impact of Including Creationism in High School Biology Courses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

College students whose recollections of their high school biology courses included creationism were significantly more likely to invoke creationism-based answers on questions derived from the Material Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) instrument than were students whose recollections of their high school biology courses included evolution but not creationism. On average, students who were taught neither evolution nor creationism in their high school biology courses exhibited intermediary responses on the MATE instrument. These results suggest that (1) high school teachers' treatments of evolution and creationism have a lasting impact and (2) the inclusion of creationism in high school biology courses increases the probability that students accept creationism and reject evolution when they arrive at college. These results are discussed relative to the impact of high school biology courses on students' subsequent acceptance of evolution and creationism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
JournalEvolution: Education and Outreach
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 6 2008

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high schools
biology
Biological Sciences
student
students
school
acceptance
college students
teachers
inclusion
teacher

Keywords

  • biology teachers
  • Creationism
  • Evolution
  • High school students
  • Material Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE)

Cite this

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abstract = "College students whose recollections of their high school biology courses included creationism were significantly more likely to invoke creationism-based answers on questions derived from the Material Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) instrument than were students whose recollections of their high school biology courses included evolution but not creationism. On average, students who were taught neither evolution nor creationism in their high school biology courses exhibited intermediary responses on the MATE instrument. These results suggest that (1) high school teachers' treatments of evolution and creationism have a lasting impact and (2) the inclusion of creationism in high school biology courses increases the probability that students accept creationism and reject evolution when they arrive at college. These results are discussed relative to the impact of high school biology courses on students' subsequent acceptance of evolution and creationism.",
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