2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 1619, 2005)
Paper No. 81-10
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM-10:30 AM


PHILLIPS, Michael A., Natural Sciences, Illinois Valley Community College, 815 N. Orlando Smith Ave, Oglesby, IL 61348-9692, mike_phillips@ivcc.edu

Less than 5% of college students are science majors (BS & AS degrees awarded in biological/life sciences, physical sciences, and science technologies 2000-01 & 2001-02; an additional 8% of the degrees awarded were in the health professions and related sciences). Of those in science, only those that major in biology, geology, and anthropology are likely to learn about organic evolution and natural selection (hereafter referred to as evolution) in depth. Most of the remaining students, including education majors, take lower level or general education science courses where they may or may not encounter evolution, and then it is not likely to be covered in depth. In addition, the interdisciplinary nature of evolution means that even majors in biology, geology, and anthropology can miss out on key aspects of evolution that are not directly within their field of study. So it is not surprising that many college graduates, including scientists and K-12 teachers, do not see the failings of pseudo-scientific "theories" such as intelligent design.

An excellent way to increase student exposure to evolution in general education and to enhance the interdisciplinary aspects of evolution units in curricula for science majors is for faculty to prepare guest presentations for courses outside of their disciplines. Off-the-shelf presentations can be developed ahead of time, advertised to interested faculty in other disciplines, and modified to meet the needs of individual classes. For example, a presentation on "Science, Evolution, and Creationism" can be given in courses ranging from Philosophy of Religion to U.S. Government to Introduction to Education, and a unit on the methods of historical geology (including dating and the fossil record) would be appropriate in many biology and anthropology courses. Such presentations can be offered gratis or in exchange for a reciprocal offering by the host faculty; some schools and departments may offer small honoraria to guest speakers.

Guest presentations can provide recruitment opportunities, allow coverage of classes for absent faculty, and foster useful interdepartmental exchanges. Ultimately, after refining a presentation in the comfort of a classroom and with feedback from a colleague, it will be ready to be given at a teacher workshop, the local library, or even a school board meeting.

2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 1619, 2005)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 81
Is it Science? Strategies for Addressing Creationism in the Classroom and the Community
Salt Palace Convention Center: Ballroom J
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Monday, 17 October 2005

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 37, No. 7, p. 194

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