Date of Award
Master of Science
Curriculum and Instruction
Michael P. Clough
The concept of biological evolution is essential to a deep understanding of biology. Biological evolution is a well-established scientific theory that explains how the diversity of life on this planet arose from a single or several original life forms. Nevertheless, public controversy has often clouded the extent to which biological evolution is addressed by science teachers in K-12 public education classes.
This study investigated the evolution education teaching practices of Iowa State University (ISU) students who completed the evolution education component of the Biology Education Teaching and Learning (BETAL) community, and the evolution education teaching practices of ISU students who did not take part in the evolution education component of BETAL. These two groups were compared to the evolution education teaching practices of teachers across the United States reported in prior studies.
Although the sample was small, that all BETAL evolution education participants taught biological evolution is encouraging. While BETAL evolution education participants faced opposition to teaching biological evolution, the BETAL evolution education participants continue to teach biological evolution despite the opposition. BETAL evolution education participants also reportedly spent overall more time teaching biological evolution and included ties to important nature of science topics while doing so.
Sarah Anne White
White, Sarah Anne, "The effect of a biology learning community on ISU secondary science education students and the teaching of biological evolution" (2011). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 11950.