Practices and perspectives of college instructors on addressing religious beliefs when teaching evolution

M. Elizabeth Barnes, Sara Brownell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Evolution is a core concept of biology, and yet many college biology students do not accept evolution because of their religious beliefs. However, we do not currently know how instructors perceive their role in helping students accept evolution or how they address the perceived conflict between religion and evolution when they teach evolution. This study explores instructor practices and beliefs related to mitigating students’ perceived conflict between religion and evolution. Interviews with 32 instructors revealed that many instructors do not believe it is their goal to help students accept evolution and that most instructors do not address the perceived conflict between religion and evolution. Instructors cited many barriers to discussing religion in the context of evolution in their classes, most notably the instructors’ own personal beliefs that religion and evolution may be incompatible. These data are exploratory and are intended to stimulate a series of questions about how we as college biology instructors teach evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18
JournalCBE life sciences education
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Practices and perspectives of college instructors on addressing religious beliefs when teaching evolution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this