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“Let’s Talk about It”—Explicit Discussions as a Way to Reduce the Resistance of Religious Jewish Science Teachers to Learning and Teaching about Evolution: A Case Study

1
The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education, Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts, Tel Aviv-Jaffa 6250769, Israel
2
Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 9190401, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10110298
Received: 19 September 2020 / Revised: 15 October 2020 / Accepted: 19 October 2020 / Published: 23 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Curriculum and Instruction)
Acknowledging the diverse perceptions about science–religion relationships among learners who come from various religious environments may increase learners’ willingness to learn about evolution. This study is based on a zoology course designed for in-service teachers, which aimed to provide basic scientific knowledge about evolution using the Religious Cultural Competence in Evolution Education framework. The study explores whether learners who were resistant to evolution modify their attitudes and willingness to learn about it, and whether they develop respect toward learners who hold contradicting views. Using qualitative methods, the findings indicate that using the Religious Cultural Competence in Evolution Education framework increased some formerly “resistant” learners’ willingness to learn about evolution and include it in their own teaching, albeit in varying degrees and with various reservations. The learners appreciated the freedom to express their challenges concerning evolution learning or teaching and became more willing to respect opposing perspectives, even though not all the religious learners accepted evolution as an explanation for the development of organisms. This study has international implications for bridging the gap between science and religion, thus reducing resistance to learning and teaching about evolution. View Full-Text
Keywords: cultural competence; evolution teaching; religious cultural competence in evolution education; action research; resistance to evolution learning; Jewish cultural competence; evolution teaching; religious cultural competence in evolution education; action research; resistance to evolution learning; Jewish
MDPI and ACS Style

Alkaher, I.; Shmueli, M.; Dreyfus, A. “Let’s Talk about It”—Explicit Discussions as a Way to Reduce the Resistance of Religious Jewish Science Teachers to Learning and Teaching about Evolution: A Case Study. Educ. Sci. 2020, 10, 298.

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