The influence of the beliefs of teachers and learners on the teaching and learning of evolution

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dc.contributor.advisor De Villiers, J.J.R. (Rian)
dc.contributor.coadvisor Fraser, William John
dc.contributor.postgraduate Mpeta, Mamotena
dc.date.accessioned 2014-06-17T13:04:00Z
dc.date.available 2014-06-17T13:04:00Z
dc.date.created 2014-04-10
dc.date.issued 2014 en_US
dc.description Thesis (PhD)--University of Pretoria, 2014. en_US
dc.description.abstract This study explores and describes the beliefs of teachers and learners with regards to the concept of biological evolution and how those beliefs affect the teaching and the learning of the concept. Multiple research methods were used to collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data from Grade 12 Life Sciences learners and teachers from five secondary schools in the Vhembe District of the Limpopo Province. Quantitative data included biographical information. The Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) was used to assess acceptance of evolution by learners. Qualitative data included opinions of teachers and learners about evolution and how it was taught and learned. The results showed that the background of the participants, such as religion and from whom they had first heard of evolution, had a strong influence on their beliefs about evolution. Most of the learners and the five teachers in the study held Christian beliefs and some of them perceived evolution to be in conflict with those beliefs. There was moderate acceptance of evolution by learners. In teaching evolution, all the teachers engaged learners in discussions and debates about evolution, and encouraged them to separate their beliefs from evolution in order to avoid ‘the conflict’. Despite their Christian beliefs and the dissonance between them and evolution, learners were motivated to learn evolution. They felt that evolution was responding to some of the questions they had about themselves, and therefore wanted to understand it more. There was a perception from both teachers and learners that there was not enough evidence in support of evolution, and this is what brings the doubt about its validity. The research encourages further exploration of learners’ and teachers’ beliefs, and assistance of teachers in the nature of science, better understanding of the concept of evolution. In addition, the research advocates assistance for teachers on how to deal with Life Sciences topics perceived to be controversial. en_US
dc.description.availability unrestricted en_US
dc.description.department Science, Mathematics and Technology Education en_US
dc.description.librarian gm2014 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Mpeta, MA 2013, The influence of the beliefs of teachers and learners in the teaching and learning of evolution, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd <http://hdl.handle.net/2263/40231> en_US
dc.identifier.other D14/4/68/gm en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/40231
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Pretoria en_ZA
dc.rights © 2013 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria. en_US
dc.subject Beliefs en_US
dc.subject Culture en_US
dc.subject Evolution en_US
dc.subject Education en_US
dc.subject Life Sciences en_US
dc.subject Multiple research methods en_US
dc.subject Nature of science en_US
dc.subject Religion en_US
dc.subject Science education en_US
dc.subject Worldview en_US
dc.subject UCTD en_US
dc.title The influence of the beliefs of teachers and learners on the teaching and learning of evolution en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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