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Dealing with creationist challenges: what European biology teachers might expect in the classroom

Stefaan Blancke (UGent) , Maarten Boudry (UGent) , Johan Braeckman (UGent) , Johan De Smedt (UGent) and Helen De Cruz
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Abstract
Creationists are becoming more active in Europe. We expect that European biology teachers will be more frequently challenged by students who introduce creationist misconceptions of evolutionary theory into the classroom. Moreover, research suggests that not all teachers are equally well prepared to deal with them. To make biology teachers aware of what they might be confronted with, we discuss three kinds of misconceptions that are common in creationist literature: misconstruing scientific methodology, making a straw man out of evolutionary theory, and demanding unreasonable evidence. We offer some suggestions as to how to deal with them, but we also note the importance of embedding this approach in a more comprehensive educational program in which students learn to think critically and in which their moral concerns and worldview are taken into account. In addition, we invite biology teachers to reflect on their own knowledge and, if necessary, to refresh it by consulting accessible yet scientifically informed literature. Although our main concern lies with teachers in Europe, our approach might be valuable to biology teachers worldwide.
Keywords
SCIENCE, KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING EVOLUTION, EDUCATION, INTELLIGENT DESIGN, creationism, nature of science, misconceptions, teaching evolutionary theory, ORIGINS, BELIEFS, WORLDVIEWS, ACCEPTANCE

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MLA
Blancke, Stefaan, Maarten Boudry, Johan Braeckman, et al. “Dealing with Creationist Challenges: What European Biology Teachers Might Expect in the Classroom.” JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL EDUCATION 45.4 (2011): 176–182. Print.
APA
Blancke, S., Boudry, M., Braeckman, J., De Smedt, J., & De Cruz, H. (2011). Dealing with creationist challenges: what European biology teachers might expect in the classroom. JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL EDUCATION, 45(4), 176–182.
Chicago author-date
Blancke, Stefaan, Maarten Boudry, Johan Braeckman, Johan De Smedt, and Helen De Cruz. 2011. “Dealing with Creationist Challenges: What European Biology Teachers Might Expect in the Classroom.” Journal of Biological Education 45 (4): 176–182.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Blancke, Stefaan, Maarten Boudry, Johan Braeckman, Johan De Smedt, and Helen De Cruz. 2011. “Dealing with Creationist Challenges: What European Biology Teachers Might Expect in the Classroom.” Journal of Biological Education 45 (4): 176–182.
Vancouver
1.
Blancke S, Boudry M, Braeckman J, De Smedt J, De Cruz H. Dealing with creationist challenges: what European biology teachers might expect in the classroom. JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL EDUCATION. 2011;45(4):176–82.
IEEE
[1]
S. Blancke, M. Boudry, J. Braeckman, J. De Smedt, and H. De Cruz, “Dealing with creationist challenges: what European biology teachers might expect in the classroom,” JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL EDUCATION, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 176–182, 2011.
@article{1060330,
  abstract     = {Creationists are becoming more active in Europe. We expect that European biology teachers will be more frequently challenged by students who introduce creationist misconceptions of evolutionary theory into the classroom. Moreover, research suggests that not all teachers are equally well prepared to deal with them. To make biology teachers aware of what they might be confronted with, we discuss three kinds of misconceptions that are common in creationist literature: misconstruing scientific methodology, making a straw man out of evolutionary theory, and demanding unreasonable evidence. We offer some suggestions as to how to deal with them, but we also note the importance of embedding this approach in a more comprehensive educational program in which students learn to think critically and in which  their moral concerns and worldview are taken into account. In addition, we invite biology teachers to reflect on their own knowledge and, if necessary, to refresh it by consulting accessible yet scientifically informed literature. Although our main concern lies with teachers in Europe, our approach might be valuable to biology teachers worldwide.},
  author       = {Blancke, Stefaan and Boudry, Maarten and Braeckman, Johan and De Smedt, Johan and De Cruz, Helen},
  issn         = {0021-9266},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL EDUCATION},
  keywords     = {SCIENCE,KNOWLEDGE,TEACHING EVOLUTION,EDUCATION,INTELLIGENT DESIGN,creationism,nature of science,misconceptions,teaching evolutionary theory,ORIGINS,BELIEFS,WORLDVIEWS,ACCEPTANCE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {176--182},
  title        = {Dealing with creationist challenges: what European biology teachers might expect in the classroom},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00219266.2010.546677},
  volume       = {45},
  year         = {2011},
}

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