Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 699-723

First online:

Does Increasing Biology Teacher Knowledge of Evolution and the Nature of Science Lead to Greater Preference for the Teaching of Evolution in Schools?

  • Ross H. NehmAffiliated withCollege of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University Email author 
  • , Irvin Sam SchonfeldAffiliated withEducation and Psychology, The City College, The City University of New YorkThe Graduate Center, The City University of New York

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This study investigated whether or not an increase in secondary science teacher knowledge about evolution and the nature of science gained from completing a graduate-level evolution course was associated with greater preference for the teaching of evolution in schools. Forty-four precertified secondary biology teachers participated in a 14-week intervention designed to address documented misconceptions identified by a precourse instrument. The course produced statistically significant gains in teacher knowledge of evolution and the nature of science and a significant decrease in misconceptions about evolution and natural selection. Nevertheless, teachers’ postcourse preference positions remained unchanged; the majority of science teachers still preferred that antievolutionary ideas be taught in school.


Evolution Evolution education Biology education Natural selection Intelligent design Creationism Science teachers