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05.02.2016 | Ausgabe 2/2016

Journal of Science Teacher Education 2/2016

Beyond Evolution: Addressing Broad Interactions Between Science and Religion in Science Teacher Education

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Science Teacher Education > Ausgabe 2/2016
Autoren:
Joseph W. Shane, Ian C. Binns, Lee Meadows, Ronald S. Hermann, Matthew J. Benus

Abstract

Science and religion are two indisputably profound and durable cultural forces with a complex history of interaction. As ASTE members are aware, these interactions often manifest themselves in classrooms and in the surrounding communities. In this essay, we encourage science teacher educators to broaden their perspectives of science–religion interactions so that they may better assist pre- and in-service science teachers with addressing topics such as the age and origins of the universe and biological evolution in an appropriate manner. We first introduce some foundational scholarship into the historical interactions between science and religion as well as current efforts to maintain healthy dialogue between perspectives that are frequently characterized as innately in conflict with or mutually exclusive of one another. Given that biological evolution is the dominant science–religion issue of our day, in particular in the USA, we next summarize the origins and strategies of anti-evolution movements via the rise and persistence of Christian Fundamentalism. We then summarize survey and qualitative sociological research indicating disparities between academic scientists and the general public with regard to religious beliefs to help us further understand our students’ worldviews and the challenges they often face in campus-to-classroom transitions. We conclude the essay by providing resources and practical suggestions, including legal considerations, to assist science teacher educators with their curriculum and outreach.

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