Views of the relationship between science and religion and their implications for student learning of evolutionary biology

Yasri, Pratchayapong (2014) Views of the relationship between science and religion and their implications for student learning of evolutionary biology. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3033664

Abstract

Studies have shown that many students perceive clashes between scientific and religious perspectives which contribute to negative impacts on student learning of evolution. Much earlier work, at least in larger-scale studies, investigates the influence of these perspectives in the form of a binary classification of the relationship between the two (either science or religion, either biological evolution or biblical creation, either accept or reject evolution). This PhD study therefore aims to develop a new set of research tools employing multidimensional classifications of the relationships and use these to explore four facets of student learning. These consist of views of the relationship between science and religion, justifications for levels of acceptance of evolution, positions on the relationship between biological evolution and biblical creation, and conceptions of biological evolution and the nature of science in relation to the positions. In order to understand the diversity of patterns of responses, a survey-based study using a questionnaire was conducted among 327 high school students in a religiously heterogeneous context, Thailand. The study shows that, rather than subscribing to simple incompatible views, these students tended to hold compatible views of the relationship between science and religion, some form of reconciliatory position on the relationship between biological evolution and biblical creation, and intermediate levels of acceptance of evolution. In addition, it shows that those accepting evolution tended to rely on science or refuse religion as a cognitive authority; whereas, those not accepting evolution tended to rely on religion or refuse science as a cognitive authority. Furthermore, it demonstrates that many students had developed their scientific sophistication and acceptance of evolution without changing their religious beliefs through changes in their understanding of the evidence for evolution and in their view on the relationship between science and religion. However, the study also shows that those holding reconciliatory positions on the relationship between biological evolution and biblical creation tended to hold a wide range of misconceptions about evolution and the nature of science. I therefore suggest that teachers should be aware of the roles of scientific and religious perspectives in learning about evolution as well as the diversity of ways for relating them positively in the hope that this understanding would help them enhance student learning of evolution.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: science, religion, evolution, creation, learning
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Interdisciplinary Science Education Technologies and Learning
Supervisor's Name: Mancy, Dr. Rebecca
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Mr Pratchayapong Yasri
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5082
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2014 11:16
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2014 11:17
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/5082

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