Evolution Education: A Lay of the Land

  • David E. Long
Part of the Cultural Studies of Science Education book series (CSSE, volume 4)


Current academic discussions of the public relationship toward, and broad-based rejection of, evolution are, as I argue, limited by the philosophical positions that underpin the dominant voices of science and science education. Reviewing past research concerning student, teacher, and community disposition toward evolution, there is clearly a lacking commitment toward enacting evolution education unqualified by religious deference in the USA. In this introductory chapter, I unpack crucial issues to understanding misunderstandings in evolution education.

The intellectual socialization of scientists and science educators does not necessarily include an education in understanding the rationales by which many people might not care much about their work. Demonstrative of the lengths some scientists have gone to advertise the overarching value of science for the lay public, they miss the larger domain of culture in which people operate and find significance in their lives. Science, in short, is but one of many competing values. Turning to the view that education is best described as a cultural process, my methodological rationale approaches analyzing evolution education with a different lens. How does a view through the entire educational structure, with an eye on the breakdowns of understanding between people, and their histories with the concept, give us a better grasp on how and why evolution education could come to be so stunted? Starting with the university as a good place to apprehend peoples’ understanding and relationship toward evolution, I situate this book by highlighting the relationship between regional master’s degree granting institutions and their prime role in generating the majority of teachers in the USA. I then detail how the content of the book expands from the university, back through student, faculty, and teacher histories, and into their communities and lives. This is an ethnographic story of people involved in evolution education, rich with the context and politics of how we variably understand each other.


Science Teacher Intelligent Design Evolution Education Science Education Research Creation Science 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Middle, Secondary, Reading and Deaf EducationValdosta State UniversityValdostaUSA

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