Creationism in the science classroom: worldview or misconception?

Williams, James (2009) Creationism in the science classroom: worldview or misconception? In: Science in Society International Conference, 5-7 August, 2009, University of Cambridge, UK.

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Abstract

Creationism and Intelligent Design (ID) is regularly raised by pupils in science lessons. It has been argued that creationism should be treated as a worldview, not a misconception. How should teachers respond? To avoid insensitivity to faith positions and counter creationist charges of stifling 'academic freedom' science teachers must deal with pupils by respecting their position, but also deliver a robust evolution education. To avoid this dilemma, teachers should adopt the position of evolution and science being a matter of the acceptance of evidence and creationism/ID as being a belief system. Recent research has shown that many science graduates do not have a good understanding of the nature of science and its key terminology, e.g. theory, fact, law etc. and that this may contribute to a lack of understanding about creationist claims e.g. that Intelligent Design is science. Beliefs are often involuntary and lacking evidence. Science is rational and evidenced based. Adopting this teaching approach does not necessarily lead to a challenge of individual belief. Drawing on work from the history and philosophy of science, general philosophy and biological science and psychology, the paper examines the basis of beliefs, both rational and irrational, and provides a mechanism for resolving issues that science teachers may encounter.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: Evolution, Creationism, Intelligent Design, Worldview, Misconception, Acceptance and Belief
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Depositing User: James Williams
Date Deposited: 03 May 2013 11:24
Last Modified: 03 May 2013 11:26
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16245
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