Can Six Minutes of Culturally Competent Evolution Education Reduce Students' Level of Perceived Conflict between Evolution and Religion?

Jasmine M. Truong, M. Elizabeth Barnes, Sara Brownell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Evolution is foundational to biology but is controversial for many undergraduate students. Although evolution and religion are potentially compatible, students' perceived conflict between their religious beliefs and evolution can negatively affect their acceptance of evolution. In a previous study, we found that illustrating the potential compatibility of religion and evolution decreased the number of students who perceived a conflict between religion and evolution by 53 percent. However, in the previous study, the instruction on the potential compatibility of religion and evolution took a significant amount of instructional time, which could be a barrier for implementation. In this current study, we condensed the instruction illustrating the potential compatibility of religion and evolution to six minutes. By conducting qualitative analyses on data gathered from ten students who perceived a conflict before the evolution module, we found that eight of these students reduced their level of perceived conflict after the evolution module. We identified eight distinct aspects of the evolution instruction that students stated reduced their perceived conflict, including that the instructor did not force student acceptance of evolution, the instructor was respectful of students with multiple viewpoints on evolution, and students experienced a greater exposure to evolution content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-115
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Biology Teacher
Volume80
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

Keywords

  • curriculum; attitudes
  • evolution
  • perceived conflict
  • religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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