Students' arguments on the science and religion issue: the example of evolutionary theory and Genesis

Basel, Nicolai, Harms, Ute, Prechtl, Helmut, Weiss, Thomas and Rothgangel, Martin (2014) Students' arguments on the science and religion issue: the example of evolutionary theory and Genesis Journal of Biological Education, 48 (4). pp. 179-187.

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Abstract

Treating creationism as a controversial topic within the science and religion issue in the science classroom has been widely discussed in the recent literature. Some researchers have proposed that this topic is best addressed by focusing on sociocognitive conflict. To prepare new learning opportunities for this approach, it is necessary to know the concrete arguments that students use in their discussions on this issue. Therefore, this study aimed to provide a systematic description of these arguments. For this purpose, upper secondary students (N=43) argued for either the acceptance of evolutionary theory or faith in Genesis in a written speech. The study was conducted during their regular biology and religious education classes. Generated arguments were analysed by qualitative content analysis. Three dimensions of the arguments were described: the content (science or religion), the valuation of the argument (positive or negative), and whether the argument consisted of a descriptive or normative argumentation. The results indicate that students found it easier to generate arguments about the scientific side of the issue; however, these arguments were negatively constructed. The results are discussed with regard to implications for educational approaches for teaching controversial issues at the high-school level.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: Times Cited: 0 0
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0021-9266
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2015 11:58
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2018 08:17
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/27122

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