Teaching Evolution: Why and How?
Evolution and Teaching
Questions to think about ...
- What do we mean today by "evolution"?
- Why should it be taught?
- How should it be taught?
Some background reading:
Why Teach Evolution? Chapter 1 in Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science, National Academy Working Group
evolution is the central organizing principle that biologists use to understand the world. To teach biology without explaining evolution deprives students of a powerful concept that brings great order and coherence to our understanding of life ... The teaching of evolution also has great practical value for students.
Teaching Evolution - National Science Teachers Association Position Statement
"evolution is a major unifying concept in science and should be included in the K–12 science education frameworks and curricula"
"Science teachers should not advocate any religious interpretations of nature and should be nonjudgmental about the personal beliefs of students."
"explanations of natural phenomena that are not based on evidence but on myths, personal beliefs, religious values, and superstitions are not scientific."
"Children have to understand evolution," he says, "but they don't have to believe it, and that is the key distinction that I have laid out in the book. So if a child asks if God made the whale, it's really an opportunity to talk about natural and supernatural explanations. You are not saying that one is better than the other, only that science is limited to natural explanations."
"students want to be taught a realistic view of science that is easily understandable. But also, they do not want to feel manipulated, or feel that their religious beliefs are under attack"