Meeting Abstract

S4-1.7  Friday, Jan. 4  Teaching Evolution Effectively: A Central Dilemma and Alternative Strategies. NELSON, Craig E.; Indiana University nelson1@indiana.edu

The most effective ways of teaching science utilize active comparisons by students of their initial understandings with more scientifically valid formulations. In many public school settings such comparisons are severely constrained legally and socially but no such constraints apply to most college teachers. Three strategies for addressing initial understandings are presented. They differ in the explicitness of the comparisons of evolution with creationist claims, in the extent to which the nature of science is systematically incorporated into such comparisons and in the support provided to students for rethinking religious positions. More empirical research comparing alternative strategies is urgently needed.