Strategies for teaching evolution in the public school system
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What is Intelligent Design? What is evolution? Though there are vast political and social forces behind these movements what happens when the arguments are evaluated independently? The arguments over design v. descent have risen and fallen over the last few hundred years. Intelligent Design asserts that there are certain irreducibly complex systems that require a Creator of some sort to exist. It uses theories developed in criminology and invokes them on the earth. Evolution is a hypothetico-deductive approach to looking at nature invoking a testable, naturalistic worldview. The goal of this study was to determine a set of guidelines for high school teachers who teach evolution and focused in on the scientific, legal, and pedagogical factors involved with how to address Intelligent Design in the public classroom. First-year students at Drake in the FYS entitled “Religion and Science” were surveyed about their views on evolution and intelligent design and how they were taught science and evolution. Results showed that the majority of students still believe in some form of creationism though maybe not the strictly Biblical form. Teachers should use three general principles when discussing Intelligent Design in the science classroom: (1) Understand the audience (students, parents, and the local community), (2) Help students understand the historical and philosophical development of science, and (3) Use controversy-based approaches emphasizing no right answers only well-supported ones.
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