Matching Items (3)

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Professor attitudes and beliefs about teaching evolution

Description

Teaching evolution has been shown to be a challenge for faculty, in both K-12 and postsecondary education. Many of these challenges stem from perceived conflicts not only between religion and

Teaching evolution has been shown to be a challenge for faculty, in both K-12 and postsecondary education. Many of these challenges stem from perceived conflicts not only between religion and evolution, but also faculty beliefs about religion, it's compatibility with evolutionary theory, and it's proper role in classroom curriculum. Studies suggest that if educators engage with students' religious beliefs and identity, this may help students have positive attitudes towards evolution. The aim of this study was to reveal attitudes and beliefs professors have about addressing religion and providing religious scientist role models to students when teaching evolution. 15 semi-structured interviews of tenured biology professors were conducted at a large Midwestern universiy regarding their beliefs, experiences, and strategies teaching evolution and particularly, their willingness to address religion in a class section on evolution. Following a qualitative analysis of transcripts, professors did not agree on whether or not it is their job to help students accept evolution (although the majority said it is not), nor did they agree on a definition of "acceptance of evolution". Professors are willing to engage in students' religious beliefs, if this would help their students accept evolution. Finally, professors perceived many challenges to engaging students' religious beliefs in a science classroom such as the appropriateness of the material for a science class, large class sizes, and time constraints. Given the results of this study, the author concludes that instructors must come to a consensus about their goals as biology educators as well as what "acceptance of evolution" means, before they can realistically apply the engagement of student's religious beliefs and identity as an educational strategy.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Banning corporal punishment in Taiwan: a narrative exploration of teacher change and critical examination of the legal ban

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Employing narrative ways of inquiry, this study interrogated how a reform action--legal banning corporal punishment in schools, which was intentionally introduced into Taiwanese society by advocates as a social movement

Employing narrative ways of inquiry, this study interrogated how a reform action--legal banning corporal punishment in schools, which was intentionally introduced into Taiwanese society by advocates as a social movement strategy at a time when the incidence rate of school corporal punishment was high--could contribute to ending educators' use of corporal punishment. From the narratives of the teachers who believed in corporal punishment, we see how the school system itself contributed to passing, mostly without educators' consciousness of doing so, from one generation to another, a punitive mind that deems punishment a necessity and humans to be incapable of self-regulation without extrinsic force. It is this punitive way of thinking, deeply rooted in Taiwanese culture that was challenged by the legal ban. The transformation of the punitive mind requires a psychological subject-object perspective move that allows the mind to break the identification with a previously built teacher identity submitting to coercive authority. Alternative values, beliefs, and ideas--particularly the caring, trusting, respectful and persuasive approaches to interpersonal relationship--must be brought into personal experiences in order to transform the punitive mind. However, the availability of alternatives does not guarantee transformation, nor does a pure logical reasoning of the alternatives make true transformation to happen. Transformation was discovered to happen in those moments, either in narrative critical reflection or in action, when the mind sees those stories of others or themselves that were once familiar but can be realized, interpreted, retold, or recreated if using a new set of assumptions and perspectives. The effects of the legal ban were mixed. It contributed to the decline of the most well-recognized form of corporal punishment--hitting students by sticks--and offered teachers who disbelieve corporal punishment, previously questioned and crowed out by their colleagues who hit, a strong backup to justify their opposition to sticks. And the ban created opportunities for teacher to learn alternatives. Nevertheless, because the wrongdoing-punishment disciplinary framework still dominates school campuses, the ban also led to the increase or creation of new forms of coercive and humiliating measures that could not be constrained by this legal ban.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Students' understanding of weathering and erosion

Description

Conceptual change has been a large part of science education research for several decades due to the fact that it allows teachers to think about what students' preconceptions are and

Conceptual change has been a large part of science education research for several decades due to the fact that it allows teachers to think about what students' preconceptions are and how to change these to the correct scientific conceptions. To have students change their preconceptions teachers need to allow students to confront what they think they know in the presence of the phenomena. Students then collect and analyze evidence pertaining to the phenomena. The goal in the end is for students to reorganize their concepts and change or correct their preconceptions, so that they hold more accurate scientific conceptions. The purpose of this study was to investigate how students' conceptions of the Earth's surface, specifically weathering and erosion, change using the conceptual change framework to guide the instructional decisions. The subjects of the study were a class of 25 seventh grade students. This class received a three-week unit on weathering and erosion that was structured using the conceptual change framework set by Posner, Strike, Hewson, and Gertzog (1982). This framework starts by looking at students' misconceptions, then uses scientific data that students collect to confront their misconceptions. The changes in students' conceptions were measured by a pre concept sketch and post concept sketch. The results of this study showed that the conceptual change framework can modify students' preconceptions of weathering and erosion to correct scientific conceptions. There was statistical significant difference between students' pre concept sketches and post concept sketches scores. After examining the concept sketches, differences were found in how students' concepts had changed from pre to post concept sketch. Further research needs to be done with conceptual change and the geosciences to see if conceptual change is an effective method to use to teach students about the geosciences.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011