Chautauqua Course DAY-9
Evolution Education: A Delicate Balance Between Science, Controversy and Pedagogy
GREGORY A. FORBES, Evolution Education Institute
Late May, 2015 in
Despite a long history of debate, legal battles and court decisions supporting the teaching of evolutionary science, there remains strong social pressure to replace the instruction of evolution with nonscientific ideologies. As a result, many teachers and professors are hesitant or afraid to teach evolution and therefore many students are never exposed to the topic of evolution. As these students will be the teachers of tomorrow, the problem is passed on to the next generation. Without a significant change in the way schools and teachers deal with the issue of scientific evolution, there may be little chance that this situation will be resolved.
This course will introduce educators to the socio-political factors that account for the continuation of this debate as well as to provide an overview of contemporary evolutionary theory and approaches to teaching this very important body of science. Workshop sessions include: 1) Why Teach Evolution? - An assessment of the value of evolution in a comprehensive science education 2) Evolution; What's All the Fuss After 3˝ Billion Years? - An examination of the socio-political basis of the debate 3) Evolution Primer - An overview of the unifying themes and concepts of evolutionary theory 4) Evidence of Evolution- A review of the empirical evidence of past and contemporary evolution 5) Responses to Anti-Evolutionist's Claims - A review of scientific and philosophical responses to statements and questions regarding the validity of evolution and the “fairness” of teaching evolution 6) Intelligent Design; Grasping for Scientific Straws 7) Educator's Resources for Teaching Evolution - A hands-on examination of resources, materials and strategies for teaching evolution.
Upon completion of this course, participants will have a strong understanding of the background of this continuing debate as well as a working knowledge of the foundations of contemporary evolutionary theory along with the ability to respond to questions from students, campus administration and the community regarding evolution theory and the necessity of its inclusion in a comprehensive science education. Pedagogical techniques introduced will allow workshop participants to weave evolutionary theory as a thread throughout their science courses. The relative emphasis of each of these topics within the course may be adjusted to best suit the interests of the participants.
For college teachers of: all disciplines. Prerequisites: none.
Tentative Costs for 2015
Application fee: $100
Course fee: $195 [Due in April 2015]
Optional on-site lodging: approximately $58 per person per night in a single
Dr. Forbes is the former Education Director and co-founder of the Michigan Scientific Evolution Education Initiative, a federally-funded initiative to provide science educators with the content, pedagogy and support system to effectively teach scientific evolution. He is also the Executive Director of the Evolution Education Institute which takes the