Clash narratives relating to evolutionary science and personal belief are a recurrent theme in media or public space discourse. However, a 2009 British Council poll undertaken in 10 countries worldwide shows that the perception of a necessary clash between evolutionary worldviews and belief in a God is a minority viewpoint. How then does the popular conception that there is an ongoing conflict between evolution and belief in God arise? One contributing factor is the framing and categorization of creationism and evolutionism within large-scale surveys for use within media campaigns. This article examines the issue framing within four polls conducted in the United Kingdom and internationally between 2008 and 2013. It argues that by ignoring the complexity and range of perspectives individuals hold, or by framing evolutionary science as atheistic, we are potentially creating ‘creationists’ − including ‘Islamic creationists’ − both figuratively and literally.
Tamara J. Moore, Kristina M. Tank, Aran W. Glancy and Jennifer A. Kersten
Recent documents pertaining to K-12 education have fostered a connection between engineering and science education to help better prepare our students and future citizens to better meet the current and future challenges of our modern and technological society. With that connection, there has been a concerted effort to raise the visibility of engineering within K-12 science education, which is reflected in the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the recently released Next Generation Science Standards. As states look towards the adoption and implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, it is important to take a deeper look at the shift in K-12 science education that is being suggested by these documents and what that means in terms of the potential changes for states that have chosen to adopt these standards. The main research question that has guided the work for this paper is: What is the extent and quality of the engineering that is present in state science standards and the Next Generation Science Standards? This paper will present a detailed analysis of the landscape of engineering in K-12 policy before and after the release of the NGSS through a comparative case study of academic state science standards and Next Generation Science Standards. This comparison provides insight into what the widespread adoption of the NGSS would mean in terms of potential changes in the way we implement science education in the United States.
Julia Y. K. Chan and Christopher F. Bauer
This study investigated exam achievement and affective characteristics of students in general chemistry in a fully-randomized experimental design, contrasting Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) participation with a control group balanced for time-on-task and study activity. This study population included two independent first-semester courses with enrollments of about 600. Achievement was measured by scores on exams written by an instructor blind to student participation. Established instruments were used to assess changes in attitude to chemistry and self-concept as a chemistry learner. No differences were found in achievement, attitude, or self-concept for students who participated in PLTL vs. those who participated in documented alternative study activities. Overall, certain aspects of attitude and self-concept showed a slight but significant decline from beginning to end of semester, consistent with previous studies. Males have higher positive attitude and self-concept than females, and first-year students have higher positive attitude, self-concept, and achievement than non first-year students. In a quasi-experimental comparison of 10 other course sections over seven years, students who self-selected into PLTL showed stronger exam achievement than those who did not choose to participate. These findings suggest that past reports of improved student performance with PLTL may in part be a consequence of attracting students who are already motivated to take advantage of its value.
Nicole A. Shea
Access to science information via communications in the media is rapidly becoming a central means for the public to gain knowledge about scientific advancements. However, little is known about what content knowledge is essential for understanding issues presented in news media. Very few empirical studies attempt to bridge science communication and science education research. This study presents findings from an inductive content analysis of genetics news articles from the New York Times’ science section. The analysis sought to characterize the genetic content knowledge anticipated as necessary to reason about featured issues. From the analysis, it is anticipated that individuals need detailed knowledge of molecular mechanisms in order to reason about such issues. Implications for supporting students’ scientific literacy in terms of the nexus of science communication and science education is discussed.