, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 267-274
Date: 16 Mar 2011

Breaking the Cycle of Continued Evolution Education Controversy: On the Need to Strengthen Elementary Level Teaching of Evolution

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Evolution education in the United States is a contentious issue as evidenced by the low number of Americans who accept evolution. Miller et al. (2006) reported on survey results indicating that, compared to European countries, America was second to last in acceptance of evolution. Given such a low acceptance rate, it logically follows that evolution may not be well understood by Americans. In recent years it has become exceedingly clear that students maintain a dismal understanding of evolution (Demastes et al. 1995; Deniz et al. 2008; Lawson and Worsnop 1992; Lord and Marino 1993; Sinclair and Pendarvis 1997). Indeed, Moore and Cotner (2009) reported that despite evolution being a required part of the high school curriculum in most states, college students scored an average of 54% on the Knowledge of Evolution Exam as measured prior to taking an introductory biology course. Without question, scientifically educated citizens should understand evolutionary theory given the fact that the ...