Research Article

Religiosity and teachers’ acceptance of the Big Bang Theory

Antonios Christonasis 1 , Georgios Stylos 1 * , Theodoros Chatzimitakos 1 , Athanasia Kasouni 1 , Konstantinos T. Kotsis 1
More Detail
1 Department of Primary Education, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, GREECE* Corresponding Author
Eurasian Journal of Science and Environmental Education, 3(1), June 2023, 25-32, https://doi.org/10.30935/ejsee/13043
Published: 07 March 2023
OPEN ACCESS   751 Views   616 Downloads
Download Full Text (PDF)

ABSTRACT

The creation of the world is a thematic content that intrigues students from a young age. The Big Bang Theory, one of the most prevalent theories about the world’s creation, is not elaborated on in Greek schools while teachers provide subjective answers to frequent questions about the creation of the universe and the existence of life. The present study investigates the perceptions of in-service primary teachers to further understand the acceptance of the Big Bang Theory and their attitude towards teaching it. The results show that the more religious the participants are, the less they accepted the theory and the less willing they are to teach it in a classroom environment. Although it is argued that faith and science are two sides of the same coin that are complementary and not mutually exclusive, the religiosity of teachers acts as a stumbling block in the educational process. The distrust towards the Big Bang Theory probably under the thought that their faith is at risk affects their teaching choices.

CITATION (APA)

Christonasis, A., Stylos, G., Chatzimitakos, T., Kasouni, A., & Kotsis, K. T. (2023). Religiosity and teachers’ acceptance of the Big Bang Theory. Eurasian Journal of Science and Environmental Education, 3(1), 25-32. https://doi.org/10.30935/ejsee/13043

REFERENCES

  1. Alexakos, K. (2009). Science and creationism: A response to Kenneth Tobin. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4(2), 495-504. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11422-009-9175-8
  2. Aretz, S., Borowski, A., & Schmeling, S. (2016). A fairytale creation or the beginning of everything: Students’ pre-instructional conceptions about the Big Bang Theory. Perspectives in Science, 10, 46-58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pisc.2016.08.003
  3. Aslanidis, A., Zafeirakakis, G., & Kalaitzidis, D. (2015). Geologia geographia [Geology geography]. Computer Technology and Publications Institute Diophantus.
  4. Athanasiou, K., & Papadopoulou, P. (2015). Evolution theory teaching and learning: What conclusions can we get from comparisons of teachers’ and students’ conceptual ecologies in Greece and Turkey? EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 11(4), 841-853. https://doi.org/10.12973/eurasia.2015.1443a
  5. Athanasiou, K., Katakos, E., & Papadopoulou, P. (2012). Conceptual ecology of evolution acceptance among Greek education students: The contribution of knowledge increase. Journal of Biological Education, 46(4), 234-241. https://doi.org/10.1080/00219266.2012.716780
  6. Athanasiou, K., Katakos, E., & Papadopoulou, P. (2016). Acceptance of evolution as one of the factors structuring the conceptual ecology of the evolution theory of Greek secondary school teachers. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 9(1), 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12052-016-0058-7
  7. Barnes, M. E., Dunlop, H. M., Holt, E. A., Zheng, Y., & Brownell, S. E. (2019). Different evolution acceptance instruments lead to different research findings. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 12, 4. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12052-019-0096-z
  8. Bartlett, M. S. (1950). Tests of significance in factor analysis. British Journal of Psychology, 3(2), 77-85. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8317.1950.tb00285.x
  9. Beaton, D. E., Bombardier, C., Guillemin, F., & Ferraz, M. B. (2000). Guidlines for the process of cross-cultural adaption of self-report measures. SPINE, 25(24), 3186-3191. https://doi.org/10.1097/00007632-200012150-00014
  10. Brownell, S., Price, J., & Steinman, L. (2013). Science communication to the general public: Why we need to teach undergraduate and graduate students this skill as part of their formal scientific training. The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 12(1), 6-10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3852879/
  11. Brunsell, E., & Marcks, J. (2009). Identifying a baseline for teachers’ astronomy content knowledge. Astronomy Education Review, 3(2), 38-46. https://doi.org/10.3847/aer2004015
  12. Carr, B. (2008). 139 cosmology and religion. In P. Clayton (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of religion and science. Oxford University Press.
  13. Covaleskie, J. (2008). Three why’s: Religion and science in school. Educational Studies, 43, 7-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131940701795170
  14. de Menezes, L. C. (2004). Parametros curriculares nacionais–ensino medio [National curriculum parameters–secondary education]. Ministerio da Educacao, Brasil [Ministry of Education, Brazil]. http://portal.mec.gov.br/seb/arquivos/pdf/pcning.pdf
  15. Deniz, H., & Sahin, E. A. (2016). Exploring the factors related to acceptance of evolutionary theory among Turkish preservice biology teachers and the relationship between acceptance and teaching preferences. Electronic Journal of Science Education, 20(4), 21-43. https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.20223
  16. Duit, R., & Treagust, D. F. (2003). Conceptual change: A powerful framework for improving science teaching and learning. International Journal of Science Education, 25(6), 671-688. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500690305016
  17. Dunk, R. D., Barnes, M. E., Reiss, M. J., Alters, B., Asghar, A., Carter, B. E., & Wiles, J. R. (2019). Evolution education is a complex landscape. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3(3), 327-329. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-019-0802-9
  18. Eurobarometer, S. (2005). Social values, science and technology. Eurobarometer special report, 225. European Commission, Public Opinion Analysis, Brussels. http://www.ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_225_report_en.pdf
  19. Field, A. (2018). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics. SAGE.
  20. Glennan, S. (2009). Whose science and whose religion? Reflections on the relations between scientific and religious worldviews. Science & Education, 18(6), 797-812. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11191-007-9097-3
  21. Govender, N. (2017). Physical sciences preservice teachers’ religious and scientific views regarding the origin of the universe and life. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 15(2), 273-292. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-015-9695-5
  22. Gurukkal, R. (2019). The rise of science. In R. Gurukkal (Ed.), History and theory of knowledge production: An introductory outline. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780199490363.003.0005
  23. Hambleton, R. K. (2001). The next generation of the ITC test translation and adaptation guidelines. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 17(3), 164-172. https://doi.org/10.1027/1015-5759.17.3.164
  24. Huber, S., & Huber, O. W. (2012). The centrality of religiosity scale (CRS). Religions, 3(3), 710-724. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel3030710
  25. Igbokwe, C. O. (2015). Recent curriculum reforms at the basic education level in Nigeria aimed at catching them young to create change. American Journal of Educational Research, 3(1), 31-37. https://doi.org/10.12691/education-3-1-7
  26. Institute of Educational Policy. (2023a). Anakalyptoume eikones, prosopa kai istories [Discovering images, faces and stories]. Computer Technology and Publications Institute Diophantus.
  27. Institute of Educational Policy. (2023b). Christianismos kai thriskeumata [Christianity and religions]. Computer Technology and Publications Institute Diophantus.
  28. Institute of Educational Policy. (2023c). Ereyno kai anakalipto [Investigate and discover]. Computer Technology and Publications Institute Diophantus.
  29. Katakos, E., Papadopoulou, P., & Athanasiou, K. (2011). I apodochi tis theorias tis exelixis apo tous Ellines ekpaideutikous kai paragontes pou tin epireazoun [The acceptance of the theory of evolution among Greek teachers and factors affecting it]. In G. Papageorgiou, & G. Kountouriotis (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th Panhellenic Congress of Science Education and New Technologies in Education (pp. 422-430). Faculty of Primary Education, Democritus University of Thrace.
  30. Kikas, E. (2004). Teachers’ conceptions and misconceptions concerning three natural phenomena. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(5), 432-448. https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.20012
  31. King, J., & Mannion, D. (2008). Changes to the secondary science curricula. Astronomy & Geophysics, 49(4), 19-21. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-4004.2008.49 419.x
  32. Kragh, H. (2011). On modern cosmology and its place in science education. Science & Education, 20(3), 343-357. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11191-010-9271-x
  33. Mantelas, Ν., & Mavrikaki, Ε. (2020). Religiosity and students’ acceptance of evolution. International Journal of Science Education, 42(18), 3071-3092. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2020.1851066
  34. Manwaring, K. F., Jensen, J. L., Gill, R. A., & Bybee, S. M. (2015). Influencing highly religious undergraduate perceptions of evolution: Mormons as a case study. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 8(23), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12052-015-0051-6
  35. Moore, R. (2000). The revival of creationism in the United States. Journal of Biological Education, 35(1), 17-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/00219266.2000.9655730
  36. National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. (2015). Junior cycle science curriculum specification. Department of Education and Skills, Government of Ireland.
  37. Novotny, J., & Svobodova, J. (2017). What are science teacher’s ideas about the universe? AIP Conference Proceedings, 1804, 060004. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4974401
  38. NRC. (2012). A framework for K-12 science education: Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. National Academies Press.
  39. Oliveira, G. D. S., Pellegrini, G., Araújo, L. A. L., & Bizzo, N. (2022). Acceptance of evolution by high school students: Is religion the key factor? PLoS ONE, 17(9), e0273929. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0273929
  40. Petrou, M. (2010). Statistiki meleti stis enallaktikes idees ton protoeton phoititon physikis se vasika themata astronomias [Statistical study on freshmen physics students’ alternative ideas on basic astronomy topics]. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
  41. Prather, E. E., Slater, T. F., & Offerdahl, E. G. (2009). Hints of a fundamental misconception in cosmology. Astronomy Education Review, 1(2), 28-34. https://doi.org/10.3847/aer2002003
  42. Reiss, M. J. (2010). Science and religion: Implications for science educators. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 5(1), 91-101. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11422-009-9211-8
  43. Rice, J. W., Olson, J. K., & Colbert, J. T. (2011). University evolution education: The effect of evolution instruction on biology majors’ content knowledge, attitude toward evolution, and theistic position. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 4(1), 137-144. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12052-010-0289-y
  44. Roederer, J. G. (2007). Debate about science and religion continues. Physics Today, 60(2), 13-14. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4796311
  45. Rutledge, M. L., & Warden, M. A. (1999). The development and validation of the measure of acceptance of the theory of evolution instrument. School Science and Mathematics, 99(1), 13-19. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1949-8594.1999.tb17441.x
  46. Rutledge, M. L., & Warden, M. A. (2000). Evolutionary theory, the nature of science & high school biology teachers: Critical relationships. The American Biology Teacher, 62(1), 23-31. https://doi.org/10. 2307/4450822
  47. Schleigh, S. P., Slater, S. J., Slater, T. F., & Stork, D. J. (2015). The new curriculum standards for astronomy in the United States. Latin American Journal of Astronomy Education, 20, 131-151. https://doi.org/10.37156/RELEA/2015.20.131
  48. Smulsky, J. J. (2014). The basic problems of contemporary scientific view of the World. OALib, 01(06), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.4236/oalib.1100772
  49. Southerland, S. A., & Scharmann, L. C. (2013). Acknowledging the religious beliefs students bring into the science classroom: Using the bounded nature of science. Theory into Practice, 52(1), 59-65. https://doi.org/10.1080/07351690.2013.743778
  50. Trumper, R. (2001a). A cross-age study of junior high school students’ conceptions of basic astronomy concepts. International Journal of Science Education, 23(11), 1111-1123. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500690010025085
  51. Trumper, R. (2001b). A cross-age study of senior high school students’ conceptions of basic astronomy concepts. Research in Science & Technological Education, 19(1), 97-109. https://doi.org/10.1080/02635140120046259
  52. Trumper, R. (2001c). A cross-college age study of science and nonscience students’ conceptions of basic astronomy concepts in preservice training for high-school teachers. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 10, 189-195. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1009477316035
  53. Weisberg, D. S., Landrum, A. R., Metz, S. E., & Weisberg, M. (2018). No missing link: Knowledge predicts acceptance of evolution in the United States. BioScience, 68(3), 212-222. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/bix161
  54. Wescott, D. J., & Cunningham, D. L. (2005). Recognizing student misconceptions about science and evolution. Age, 22(92), 23-29.
  55. Wiles, J. R. (2014). Gifted students’ perceptions of their acceptance of evolution, changes in acceptance, and factors involved therein. Evolution: Education & Outreach 7(4), 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12052-014-0004-5