New book on teaching evolution or creationism in US classrooms

click for link to amazon.comThis post is simply to call attention to Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America’s Classrooms, an important new book by Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer.

As described at

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.

Table of Contents:

List of Figures vii
List of Tables ix
Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction 1
1 Who Should Decide What Children Are Taught? 5
2 The Public Speaks: “Teach Both” 32
3 A Nation Divided by Religion, Education, and Place 64
4 Is Evolution Fit for Polite Company? Science Standards in the American States 93
5 Teachers and What They Teach 115
6 State Standards Meet Street-Level Bureaucracy 147
7 When the Personal Becomes Pedagogical 174
8 Teachers in Their Schools and Communities 194
9 The Battle for America’s Classrooms 215
Appendix to Chapter 2 229
Appendix to Chapter 3 238
Appendix to Chapter 4 245
Appendix to Chapter 5 247
Appendix to Chapter 6 249
References 259
Judicial Opinions and Court Cases Cited 275
Index 277

Shortlink for this post:


Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: