Case Studies in Teaching Evolution: The Intersection of Dilemmas in Practice

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/612569
Title:
Case Studies in Teaching Evolution: The Intersection of Dilemmas in Practice
Author:
Fisher, Rachel
Issue Date:
2016
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Despite recent science education reform documents citing evolution as a core concept to be taught in grades K-12, research shows problems with how it is currently taught. Evolution is often avoided, teachers minimize its importance within biology, infuse misconceptions, and/or interject non-scientific ideologies into lessons. My research focused on how teachers in two geographically and culturally distinct school districts in the southwestern U.S. negotiate dilemmas during an evolution unit. One school district was rural and had a large population of Mormon students, while the other district was urban, with a large majority Mexican/Mexican-American students. Using a case study approach, I observed three biology teachers during their evolution lessons, interviewed them throughout the unit, co-planned lessons with them, and collected artifacts from this unit, including anonymous student work. I also included data from four genetics lessons for each teacher to determine if the issues that arose during the evolution unit were a result of the general practice of the teacher, or if they were unique to evolution. Findings showed teachers' backgrounds and comfort levels with evolution, in addition to their perceptions of community context, affected how they negotiated pedagogical, conceptual, political, and cultural dilemmas. This study's findings will inform in-service teachers' future practice and professional development tools to aid with their teaching-this may include methods to negotiate some of the political (e.g. state standards) or cultural (e.g. religious resistance) issues inherent to teaching evolution.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
evolution; science; teaching; Teaching & Teacher Education; biology
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Teaching & Teacher Education
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Tolbert, Sara

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleCase Studies in Teaching Evolution: The Intersection of Dilemmas in Practiceen_US
dc.creatorFisher, Rachelen
dc.contributor.authorFisher, Rachelen
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.description.abstractDespite recent science education reform documents citing evolution as a core concept to be taught in grades K-12, research shows problems with how it is currently taught. Evolution is often avoided, teachers minimize its importance within biology, infuse misconceptions, and/or interject non-scientific ideologies into lessons. My research focused on how teachers in two geographically and culturally distinct school districts in the southwestern U.S. negotiate dilemmas during an evolution unit. One school district was rural and had a large population of Mormon students, while the other district was urban, with a large majority Mexican/Mexican-American students. Using a case study approach, I observed three biology teachers during their evolution lessons, interviewed them throughout the unit, co-planned lessons with them, and collected artifacts from this unit, including anonymous student work. I also included data from four genetics lessons for each teacher to determine if the issues that arose during the evolution unit were a result of the general practice of the teacher, or if they were unique to evolution. Findings showed teachers' backgrounds and comfort levels with evolution, in addition to their perceptions of community context, affected how they negotiated pedagogical, conceptual, political, and cultural dilemmas. This study's findings will inform in-service teachers' future practice and professional development tools to aid with their teaching-this may include methods to negotiate some of the political (e.g. state standards) or cultural (e.g. religious resistance) issues inherent to teaching evolution.en
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectevolutionen
dc.subjectscienceen
dc.subjectteachingen
dc.subjectTeaching & Teacher Educationen
dc.subjectbiologyen
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplineTeaching & Teacher Educationen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
dc.contributor.advisorTolbert, Saraen
dc.contributor.committeememberSeat, Karenen
dc.contributor.committeememberDoyle, Walteren
dc.contributor.committeememberJackson, Daviden
dc.contributor.committeememberTolbert, Saraen
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