Possible Connections Between Knowledge and Acceptance of Evolution Amongst Jewish Religious Preservice Science Teachers Who Learned About Human Evolution

Merav Siani, Anat Yarden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Evolution is a fundamental part of biology and thus it is essential that biology preservice teachers understand and accept it. The relationship between knowledge and acceptance of evolution, and specifically human evolution, has not been fully investigated in Israel. We sought to learn about that relationship amongst Israeli Jewish religious preservice science teachers. Twenty-three religious preservice teachers answered knowledge questions before and after participating in a human evolution activity and completed an acceptance questionnaire (I-SEA). In addition, eleven of them were interviewed regarding their knowledge of evolution and four were interviewed regarding their acceptance of evolution a few months after participating in the activity. Our main findings were that the relationship between knowledge and acceptance of evolution was not always one-to-one. The preservice teachers whose evolution knowledge is high and have firm religious faith accept the theory of evolution and are willing and eager to teach it. In addition, preservice teachers might have made a shift in their understanding of human evolution and thus accepted human evolution more due to the activity. More teacher training and exposure to evolution content and pedagogy are needed so that when preservice teachers will become in-service teachers they will teach evolution without hesitance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Science Teacher Education
DOIs
StatePublished Online - 28 Feb 2024

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