Abstract

In order to study the teaching and learning of the theory of evolution and determine levels of acceptance of the theory of evolution among college students studying biology in Central Florida, the Inventory of Student Evolution Acceptance, I-SEA, was administered to over 500 university students enrolled in a biology course during the Fall 2016 term. An analysis of 489 completed surveys demonstrated strong overall acceptance of the theory of evolution (average score = 103 out of 120 total possible). Of all students, 78% fell into the category of very high acceptance of the theory of evolution. Students who reported attending worship services weekly or more scored statistically significantly lower on the I-SEA than students who reported attending worship services less than weekly. The level of previous high school coursework in biology—whether honors, or advanced biology courses were taken-- did not translate into statistically significant differences in acceptance of evolution as measured by the I-SEA. Three subscales contained within the Inventory of Student Evolution Acceptance are designed to measure student acceptance of microevolution, macroevolution, and human evolution. Students demonstrate higher levels of acceptance of microevolution than macroevolution or human evolution. These findings serve to inform educational leaders and science educators regarding students' worldview and how worldview may inform what students accept as true and valid. The I-SEA serves as a useful educational tool to inform instructional decisions in the biology classroom.

Graduation Date

2017

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Murray, Kenneth

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College

College of Education and Human Performance

Department

Teaching, Learning, and Leadership

Degree Program

Educational Leadership; Executive Track

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0006792

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0006792

Language

English

Release Date

August 2017

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

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