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Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America's Classrooms - Michael B. Berkman

Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America's Classrooms


Published: 20th September 2010
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Who should decide what children are taught in school? This question lies at the heart of the evolution-creation wars that have become a regular feature of the U.S. political landscape. Ever since the 1925 Scopes "monkey trial" many have argued that the people should decide by majority rule and through political institutions; others variously point to the federal courts, educational experts, or scientists as the ideal arbiter. Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer illuminate who really controls the nation's classrooms. Based on their innovative survey of 926 high school biology teachers they show that the real power lies with individual educators who make critical decisions in their own classrooms. Broad teacher discretion sometimes leads to excellent instruction in evolution. But the authors also find evidence of strong creationist tendencies in America's public high schools. More generally, they find evidence of a systematic undermining of science and the scientific method in many classrooms.

'The enduring conflict over teaching evolution in America's public schools features national voices and policy makers, but this investigation of high school biology teachers provides a unique and vital perspective. Those who work at every level of the K-12 enterprise will find this book both useful and surprising.' Gary Sehorn, Journal of Education and Christian Belief

List of Figuresp. vii
List of Tablesp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Who Should Decide What Children Are Taught?p. 5
The Public Speaks: "Teach Both"p. 32
A Nation Divided by Religion, Education, and Placep. 64
Is Evolution Fit for Polite Company? Science Standards in the American Statesp. 93
Teachers and What They Teachp. 115
State Standards Meet Street-Level Bureaucracyp. 147
When the Personal Becomes Pedagogicalp. 174
Teachers in Their Schools and Communitiesp. 194
The Battle for America's Classroomsp. 215
Appendix to Chapter 2p. 229
Appendix to Chapter 3p. 238
Appendix to Chapter 4p. 245
Appendix to Chapter 5p. 247
Appendix to Chapter 6p. 249
Referencesp. 259
Judicial Opinions and Court Cases Citedp. 275
Indexp. 277
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521148863
ISBN-10: 0521148863
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 20th September 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.4  x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.42