This thesis contains three chapters, all of which involve using culturally inclusive education to explore the experiences of religious undergraduate biology students. The first chapter is an essay entitled "Toward Culturally Inclusive Undergraduate Biology Education," which describes a literature review performed with the aim of characterizing the landscape of cultural competence and related terms for biology educators and biology education researchers. This chapter highlights the use of 16 different terms related to cultural competence and presents these terms, their definitions, and highlights their similarities and differences. This chapter also identifies gaps in the cultural competence literature, and presents a set of recommendations to support better culturally inclusive interventions in undergraduate science education. The second chapter, entitled "Different Evolution Acceptance Instruments Lead to Different Research Findings," describes a study in which the source of 30 years of conflicting research on the relationship between evolution acceptance and evolution understanding was determined. The results of this study showed that different instruments used to measure evolution acceptance sometimes lead to different research results and conclusions. The final chapter, entitled "Believing That Evolution is Atheistic is Associated with Poor Evolution Education Outcomes Among Religious College Students," describes a study characterizing definitions of evolution that religious undergraduate biology students may hold, and examines the impact that those definitions of evolution have on multiple outcome variables. In this study, we found that among the most religious students, those who thought evolution is atheistic were less accepting of evolution, less comfortable learning evolution, and perceived greater conflict between their personal religious beliefs and evolution than those who thought evolution is agnostic.
- Exploring the Experiences of Undergraduate Biology Students
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