On the Cutting Edge - Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
Student Motivations and Attitudes: The Role of the Affective Domain in Geoscience Learning
Cutting Edge > Affective Domain > Dilemmas about Teaching > Selective use of evidence to support viewpoints

Selective use of evidence to support viewpoints

Dilemma

Tania Vislova, Kaatje Kraft

In an Introductory Geology class you give your students a final project where they select their own topic of interest. John chooses the theory of evolution. By the time of you first meet with him to discuss the project, he has found a lot of information on the Internet which claims to have evidence that disproves the theory of evolution. Clearly he is very excited about finding scientific information that supports his preconceived ideas and long held beliefs. In general, how do you respond?

How do you help him to see the flaws in the data he presents when he has such a limited scientific background?

Would you support him in continuing in his current direction of study and focus or would you try to use it as a teaching opportunity for the whole class?

In either case, how do you address this issue without alienating and diminishing John's fundamentally held beliefs?


Responses

Alan Boyle, Claudia Khourey-Bowers

How would you help him see the flaws in the data he presents?

Would you support him in continuing in his current direction of study and focus or would you try to use it as a teaching opportunity for the whole class?

How do you address this issue without alienating and diminishing John's fundamentally held beliefs?


Selective use of evidence to support viewpoints  

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