|
Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience > Earth History Approach > Addressing Creationism > Why Address Creationism?
Explore Teaching Examples | Provide Feedback

Why Address Creationism?

Why can't a science instructor just launch into the tale of discovery and deduction and teach Earth history without addressing students creationist beliefs?

Students Learn by Building on What they Know

Students build on their existing understanding of Earth History, that they have developed over the years before they walked into your classroom.

Research indicates that student preconceptions, not just religious ones, need to be drawn out and worked into the educational process (NRC, 2000 ). Shulman, 1999 describes several problems that may occur when prior knowledge and new knowledge clash:

The amazing thing about all of the above problems is that they can be observed in students who have done well on exams. Students can compartmentalize information, learn it (usually memorize it) for the short term, and then snap back to their previous beliefs (Schneps and Sadler, 1988 ). To break this cycle requires engaging students' original beliefs and encouraging them to examine their beliefs in light of the new material they are learning.

The Public Needs to Understand Earth History and Evolution

Earth history and evolution provide critical understanding for modern citizens.

See also: Why Teach with an Earth History Approach

Prepare K-12 Teachers and Voters to Make Decisions about Earth History Education

Some believers in Young-Earth Creationism have tried to ban or weaken the teaching of evolution in public schools and others to require or allow their own (sectarian) beliefs be taught there. Recently, there have been numerous attempts to introduce Intelligent Design into public-school classrooms.

Why this matters to college and university faculty:


« Previous Page      Next Page »