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Impact of Evolution Understanding and Acceptance by Samantha R. Fowler A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the d egree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Secondary Education College of Education University of South Florida Major Professor: Dana Zeidler Ph.D. Elaine Howes, Ph.D. John Ferron, Ph.D. Troy Sadler, Ph.D. D ate of Approval: July 27, 2009 Keywords: science education, scientific literacy, SSI Q, socioscientific reasoning, argumentation Copyright 2009, Samantha R. Fowler
This work is dedicated to : My Dad, Ray Fowler for instilling in me the knowledge that I can accomplish whatever I set out to do, no matter how long it takes. Dad, I wish you were here to share this moment with me. My Mom, Chris Fowler letting me be myself and for teaching me to have an open mind. My daughter, Evelyn Fowler who is my greatest inspiration and hope for the future. My Best Friend and Soulmate, Jon Guice I could never have done this without your encouragement and support.
A cknowledgments Dr. Dana Zeidler served as my major professor and taugh t me what it means to be a true scholar. He gave that extra motivation when necessary while allowing me the opportunity to learn and grow from my mistakes. I thank my committee members, Dr. Troy Sadler, Dr. Elaine Howes, and Dr. John Ferron for their time and expertise. I owe a very special thanks to Dr. Gerry Meisels of the Coalition for Science Literacy for providing me, not only with employment, but with invaluable support, advice, and extra opportunities for scholarly activities. I would also like to a cknowledge all of the individuals who provided support, friendship, and advice during my academic career: my professors in the College of Education, who exemplified great teaching, my cohort of science education graduate students, my friends in the Hillsbo rough County School District, my coworkers at the Coalition for Science Literacy and elsewhere at USF, and Laurie Walker, who has been my dear friend since the beginning of my journey into science education.
i T able of C ontents L ist of Tables ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... iv L ist of Figures ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... vi A bstract ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. vii Chapter 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 1 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 1 Evolution: Connections to SSI ................................ ................................ ................ 2 The Evolution Polemic ................................ ................................ ........................... 4 Controversy in Our Nation ................................ ................................ .......... 4 ................................ ......................... 6 Internalization of Evolution Content ................................ .......................... 8 Evidence B ased Decision M aking and Justification ................................ 13 Research Questions and Ra tionale ................................ ................................ ........ 15 RQ 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 15 RQ 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 16 Significance of the Study ................................ ................................ ...................... 19 Chapter 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 21 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 21 The Centrality of Evolution to Scientific Literacy ................................ ............... 21 Biological Evolution ................................ ................................ ................. 21 Evolution and Scientific Literacy ................................ ............................. 24 Acceptance and Und erstanding of Evolution ................................ ....................... 26 Decision M aking and SSI ................................ ................................ ..................... 29 Informal Reasoning ................................ ................................ ................... 31 Argumentation ................................ ................................ .......................... 35 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 40 Chapter 3 ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 41 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 41 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 42 Target Population ................................ ................................ ...................... 44 Sample ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 44 Participant Demographics ................................ ................................ ......... 48 Instrumentation ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 49 Pilot Study of Instruments ................................ ................................ ........ 49
ii SSI Questionnaire (RQ 1) ................................ ................................ ......... 50 Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (RQ 2) ................................ .. 52 Validity ................................ ................................ ......................... 52 Reliability ................................ ................................ .......................... ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 52 Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (RQ 2) ..................... 53 Validity ................................ ................................ ........................ 54 Semi S tructured Interviews ................................ ................................ ...... 55 Data Analyses ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 57 Research Question 1 ................................ ................................ ................. 58 Science Content ................................ ................................ ........................ 58 Theme One Variation ................................ ................................ 59 Theme Two Inheritance ................................ ............................. 60 Theme Three Differential Success ................................ ............. 62 Theme Four Change ................................ ................................ ... 63 Theme Five Misconceptions ................................ ...................... 65 Theme Six Other ................................ ................................ ........ 66 Depth of Science Content Use ................................ ................................ .. 67 Research Question 2 ................................ ................................ ................. 77 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 78 Chapter 4 ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 79 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 79 RQ 1A: Science Content Evoked During SSI Negotiation ................................ .. 79 Cloning Scenario ................................ ................................ ....................... 81 Variation ................................ ................................ ....................... 82 Inheritance ................................ ................................ ..................... 82 Differential Success ................................ ................................ ...... 82 Change ................................ ................................ .......................... 83 Misconceptions ................................ ................................ ............. 87 Other Science Content ................................ ................................ .. 87 Intelligence Scenario ................................ ................................ ................. 87 Variation ................................ ................................ ....................... 87 Inheritance ................................ ................................ ..................... 88 Differential Success ................................ ................................ ...... 88 Misconceptions ................................ ................................ ............. 92 Other Science Content ................................ ................................ .. 92 Preventative Antibiotics Scenario ................................ ............................. 93 Variation ................................ ................................ ....................... 93 Inheritance ................................ ................................ ..................... 93 Differential Success ................................ ................................ ...... 93 Change ................................ ................................ .......................... 94 Misconceptions ................................ ................................ ............. 96 Other Science Concepts ................................ ................................ 96 Misconceptions ................................ ................................ ......................... 96
iii Other Science Content ................................ ................................ ............ 100 RQ 1B: Depth of Evolutionary Science Content Reflected in SSI Negotiati on 104 RQ 2: Depth of Content Use, Understanding and Acceptance of Evolution ...... 104 Evolution Understanding ................................ ................................ ........ 105 Evolution Acceptance ................................ ................................ ............. 105 Relationship Between the Variables ................................ ....................... 106 Multiple Regression ................................ ................................ ................ 108 Interaction Between Understanding and Acceptance ............................. 110 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 112 Chapter 5 ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 11 3 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 113 Use of Science Content During SSI Negotiation ................................ ................ 113 Prevalenc e of Evolution ................................ ................................ .......... 113 Variation by Context ................................ ................................ ............... 114 Misconceptions Revealed ................................ ................................ ....... 116 U se of Non evolution Science Content ................................ ................... 117 Depth of Content Use, Evolution Understanding, and Acceptance .................... 118 Relationship Between Evoluti on Understanding and Acceptance .......... 118 Evolution Acceptance and SSI Negotiation ................................ ............ 119 Implications ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 121 SSI Q and Scientific Literacy ................................ ................................ 121 Implication for Research ................................ ................................ ......... 122 Implications for Teaching and Learning ................................ ................. 123 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 125 References ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 126 Appendices ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 135 Appendix A: SSI Questionnaire ................................ ................................ ......... 136 Appendix B : Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS: Anderson, Fisher & Norman, 2002) ................................ ............................... 141 Appendi x C : Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE: Rutledge & Warden, 1999) ................................ ........................... 150 Appendix D : Sample participation information sheet ................................ ........ 152 A ppendix E : Semi structured interview protocol ................................ ............... 153 About the Author ................................ ................................ ................................ ... End Page
iv L ist of Tables Table 1: Courses from which participants were sampled ................................ ................. 46 Table 2: Participant demographics by race/ethnicity ................................ ........................ 48 Table 3: P articipant demographics by religion ................................ ................................ 49 Table 4: Participants interviewed by category ................................ ................................ .. 5 7 Table 5: References and examples fo r the Variation theme ................................ ............. 60 Table 6: References and examples for the Inheritance theme ................................ .......... 61 Table 7: References and examples of the Differential Success theme ............................. 62 Table 8: References and examples for the Change theme ................................ ................ 64 Table 9: References and examples for the Misconceptions them e ................................ ... 6 5 Table 10: References and examples for the Other Science theme ................................ .... 66 Table 11: Socioscientific Issues Questionnaire rubric ................................ ...................... 70 Table 12: Examples from Cloning Scenario ................................ ................................ ..... 71 Table 13: Examples from Intelligence Scenario ................................ ............................... 72 Table 14: Examples from Antibiotics Scenario ................................ ................................ 73 Table 15: Example of a depth score ................................ ................................ .................. 7 5 Table 16: reproductive c loning scenario ................................ ................................ ................................ 83 s cenario ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 89
v antibiotics scenario ................................ ................................ ........................... 9 4 Table 19: Misconceptions for all scenarios ................................ ................................ ...... 97 Table 20: Science content other than evolutiona ry topics utilized during SSI n egotiation ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 100 Table 21: Descriptive data for the variables Depth, Understanding, and Acceptance ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 106 Table 22: Correlations between variables used in this study ................................ .......... 107
vi L ist of Figures Figure 1: Hypothetical relationships among evolution understanding and acceptance and the depth of use of evolution content during SSI negotiation ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 1 8 Figure 2: Flowchart o f the study design ................................ ................................ ........... 43 Figure 3: Slopes of how depth of content use changed depending on evolution a cceptance ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 111
vii o f Science Content During Socioscienti fic Issues Negotiation: Impact of Evolution Understanding a nd Acceptance Samantha R. Fowler ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to explore the evolution science content used based socioscientific issues (SSI) and examine how it related biological evolution. Specific research questions were, (1a) what specific evolutionary science content do college students evoke during SSI negotiation, (1b) what is the depth of the evolutionary sc w hat is the nature of the interaction between evolution understanding and evolution acceptance as they relate to depth of use of evolution content during SSI negotiation? The Socioscient ific Issues Questionnaire (SSI Q) was developed using inductive data analysis to examine science content use and to develop a rubric for measuring depth of evolutionary science content use during SSI negotiation. Sixty upper level undergraduate biology and non biology majors completed the SSI Q and also the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection ( CINS: Anderson, Fisher, & Norman, 2002) to measure evolution understanding and the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE: Rutledge & Warden, 19 99) to measure evolution acceptance. A multiple regression analysis tested for interaction effects between the predictor variables, evolution understanding and evolution acceptance. Results indicate that college students primarily
viii use science concepts rela ted to evolution to negotiate biology based SSI: variation in a population, inheritance of traits, differential success, and change through time. T he hypothesis that evolution conten t is evoked during SSI negotiation was supported by the data T his was seen in that evolution was the predominant science content used by participants for each of the three SSI scenarios used in this study and used consistently throughout the three SSI sce narios. In addition to its potential to assess aspects of argumentation, a modification of the SSI Q could be used for further study about e content during a decision making process within an SSI context.
1 C hapter 1 Introduction The purpose of this study was to explore the evolution science content used based socioscientific issues (SSI ) and biological evolution. The knowledge gained from this study has the capacity to enhance our understanding of the role science content plays during SSI negotiation. This in turn, could benefit the SSI movement by providing greater insight in how SSI are negotiated and identifying roles played by conceptual understanding and acceptance of evolution. This could ultimately add to the literature base on meaningful ways to facilit ate scientific literacy for all people. In this chapter, connections between evolutionary theory and SSI that focus on biological issues are made, including a discussion of the importance of evolution understanding and its connections to biologically cent ered SSI research. Reasons why evolution content may or may not be addressed during contextually based SSI negotiation are discussed and connections made between the use of science content and SSI negotiation. Finally, the research questions, their rationa les and the significance of this study are discussed.
2 Evolution: Connections to SSI popular media, and an understanding of science is necessary in order to make thorough ly informed decisions about a myriad of important issues. Examples range from whether to eat genetically modified foods, to issues such as the political, economic, and environmental effects of off shore drilling. These types of issues are termed SSI due to their societal and moral connections to science (Sadler & Zeidler, 2005; Zeidler & Sadler, 2008 a ). Because of the impact science has on students and society, it has been a longstanding goal of science education reform to achieve a scientifically literate population that consistently makes informed decisions (AAAS, 1990; NRC, 1996). More Vision I stresses the aspects of science content as they relate to goals within s cience, and Vision II is a broader functional approach It has been argued that, with respect to Vision II, teaching within an SSI framework can enhance scientific literacy (Zeidler, 2007). Due to this, the SSI movement is rapidly becoming widespread in sc ience education across the globe. discourse about the interaction between science and society while considering any moral and ethical issues that arise (Zeidler et al., 2005, Zeidler & Sadler, 2008 a ). In the words of Zeidler, Walker, Ackett, and Simmons (2002): "Socioscientific issues then, is a broader term that subsumes all that STS has to offer, while also considering the ethical dimensions of science, the moral reasoning of a chil d, and the emotional development of the student" (p. 344).
3 have proven to be versatile tools for studying a variety of science education topics including nature of science (Ab d El Khalick, 2003; Sadler, Chambers, & Zeidler, 2004; Zeidler, Walker, Ackett, & Simmons, 2002), argumentation (Dawson & Venville, 200 9 ; Zeidler, Osborne, Erduran, Simon, & Monk, 2003; Zohar & Nemet, 2002), informal reasoning (Dawson & Venville, 200 9 ; Sad ler & Zeidler, 2005), moral reasoning (Pedretti, 1999; Hogan, 2002), moral sensitivity (Clarkeburn, 2002; Fowler, Zeidler & Sadler, 2009; Sadler, 2004), teacher pedagogy (Sadler, Amirshokoohi, Kazempour, & Allspaw, 2006), content knowledge (Sadler & Donnel ly, 2006; Sadler & Fowler, 2006) and reflective judgment ( Zeidler, Sadler, Callahan, & Applebaum, 2009 ) Furthermore, it has been argued quite convincingly that using SSI as a context in science education can also n (Zeidler & Sadler, 2008 b ). Evolution is not in itself a SSI because it lacks certain defining characteristics. Specifically, evolution is the biological change in populations of organisms over time and is explained by the scientific theory of natural se lection. It is not an ill structured controversial dilemma within the scientific community. However, there is a connection between evolution and SSI negotiation. For example, while examining informal reasoning with genetic engineering SSI scenarios, it was understanding of evolution had a strong influence on their decision making (Sadler 2005; Sadler & Zeidler, 2005; Sadler & Zeidler, 2004). The types of SSI scenarios that may involve an understanding of evolution science content include those related to the biological sciences such as cloning, stem cell research, gene therapy, and biodiversity. These types of issues are used in numerous studies related to decision making (see
4 Dawson & Venville, 200 9 ; Kolst et al., 2006; Sadler & Fowler, 2006; Zohar & Nemet, 2002 for examples ). If understanding of evolution in the context of commonly used SSI influences SSI negotiation, then it will also influence conclusions made from research that studies SSI negotiation in those contexts. Thus, the SSI movement would benefit from further studies on the relationship between understanding and acceptance of evolution and biology based SSI. The Evolution Polemic In order to comprehend the connection between the understanding of evolution and biolog ically based SSI, we need to explore reasons why students may not utilize evolutionary content knowledge during SSI negotiation. Three basic reasons why this they hav decisions. This section addresses the above three reasons with discussions of how the controversial nature of teaching evolution can prevent it from existing in state science stan argumentation involved in SSI negotiation. Controversy in O ur N ation One reason why students may not utilize evolutionary content knowledge during SSI negotiation is beca use they may not have learned about it in school or in other contexts Whether or not to teach evolution in school is a source of much debate, as noted by a history of courtroom battles. This controversy has its official origins in March of
5 1925 when Tenne ssee passed the Butler Act. Under this act, any pubic school or university that received funds from the state w as prohibited from teaching any theory that instead that man response to this act, the ACLU issued a press announcement stating that it was willing to support any teacher who and with a desire to challenge the law, John Scopes was arrested in May of 1925 for discussing evolution with his biology class. After a trial with much media attention, Scopes was ultimately convicted and fined $100. The conviction was overturned two years la ter due to a technicality. The state of Mississippi was the next state to pass an anti evolution law in 1926. Arkansas became the third and final state in 1928 (Linder, 2002). Anti evolution laws were repealed in the late 1960s, and in 1987 the United Sta tes Supreme Court ruled that requiring public school teachers to teach creation science is an establishment of religion and therefore illegal (Edwards, governor of Louisiana vs. Aguillard et al., 482 U.S. 578, 1987). In 1994 a teacher attempted to sue his district, Amendment right to free exercise of religion. The appeals court upheld the finding that the school district had merely required a science teacher to teach a scien tific theory in biology class. ( John E. Peloza v. Capistrano Unified School District, 37 F. 3rd 517, 194). Many states, such as Kansas and Kentucky, responded by removing or limiting the word evolution from their curriculums.
6 In response to the above men tioned court rulings, anti evolutionists refined their strategy by attempting to remake creationism into scientific theory rather than a religious belief. They call this pseudoscientific theory intelligent design (Johnson, 1991) Intelligent design asserts that while some organisms may be under the influence of natural selection (i.e. microevolution), life and its various species were created by an based on the n within living things are too complex to have evolved gradually (Behe, 1996). However, a 2005 U.S. District Court ruling in Pennsylvania stated that intelligent design is a form of reli gion and not science (Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District, 04cv2688, 2005). Since then, anti evolutionists changed tactics again and have been attempting to pass e volution in their biology classes. Thus far, such legislation has been attempted and failed in Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, and South Carolina, but has passed in Louisiana. Discomfort with E volution Even when the teaching of evolution is mandated by state standards, it still may not be effectively taught. Like many other members of the population, some science teachers experience discordance between teaching evolution and their own personal beliefs. Along with discordance come feelings of anxiety and a general mistrust of science, creating a barrier to learning evolutionary theory and to scientific literacy in general. It must be very difficult, at best, to effectively teach a subject one is not
7 comfortable with, and this raises an impo rtant point for science educators. Though many science teachers have no problem with teaching evolution to their students, it is critical to keep in mind that at least 16% of biology teachers nationwide claim that it conflicts with their creationist belief s (Berkman, Pacheco, & Plutzer, 2008). This may be a large contributing factor as to why one study f inds that 20% of Florida biology teachers are uncomfortable with teaching evolution and its emphasis in the newly revised Florida science standards ( Fowler & Meisels in press ). Unease with teaching may be a negative experience on an emotional level for the ther avoid teaching evolution altogether or decrease the amount of instructional time spent teaching it (Moore, 2008). As explained more fully in Chapter Two, evolution is the unifying theory of biology, and neglecting evolution instruction may lead to an incomplete understanding of biology and consequently hamper informed decision making about a variety of issues. but in doing so, perpetuate their inaccurate views on na ture of science (Moore, 2008). For Fowler & Meisels in press ). This leads students to believe that scientific theories are merely guesses and undermines the me aning of a scientific theory and the deep amount of evidence that supports it. Still others, including those in public schools, will include creationism or intelligent design when teaching evolution and present it as an alternate theory (Moore, 2008). Doin g this does a disservice to students because it encourages them to blur the line between evidence based reasoning and faith.
8 When considering reasons why teachers are uncomfortable with teaching evolution, conflict with religious beliefs is clearly a maj or reason (Aguillard, 1999; Griffith & Brem, 2004; Moore, 2008; Weld & McNew, 1999; Zimmerman, 1987 ) However, there is another, often overlooked reason why teachers are uncomfortable with teaching evolution: pressures from the community, administrators, c olleagues, parents and students (Moore, 2001). Even teachers who accept the scientific validity of evolution and rank it as very important to understanding biology and nature of science may refrain from emphasizing it in their classes out of pressure from others and, in some cases, fear of losing their jobs ( Fowler & Meisels in press ). Thus, both political implications and teaching it in the science classroom. Inter nalization of E volution C ontent Negotiation of SSI involves coming to a decision about or developing a position regarding a SSI. The decision making process is influenced by cognitive, psychological, and social factors (Gordon, 1996). In this context, cogn itive factors include reasoning and perception. Psychological factors include personality traits, such as identity, tendency to take risks, and effects from traumatic prior events, and societal factors include ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomic status. Due to their ill structured nature, SSI are associated with an informal reasoning process rather than the formal, deductive reasoning process because they use evidence to create a conclusion or come to a decision. Kuhn (1991) and Means and Voss (1996) ass ert that issues which invoke informal reasoning are ones that require an individual to support a claim by building an argument. For that reason,
9 measures of informal reasoning quality often center on the arguments used during the informal reasoning process (Kolst 2006; Means & Voss, 1996). In this case, arguments are defined as assertions accompanied by justification (Kuhn, 1991; Toulmin, 1958) and have often been used to examine argumentation quality (Driver, Newton & Osborne, 2000; Erduran, Simon, & Os borne, 2004; Sadler & Fowler, 2006). A deeper examination of prior informal reasoning research in an SSI context will be made in Chapter 2. It seems intuitive to think that if people are informed about content, then they will use it to make evidence based decisions. Anyone who has served on a jury knows that interpretation of the evidence presented in court deems a person guilty or innocent; yet there are instances of juries that cannot come to a decision even though all jurors were presented with the same evidence in court, resulting in a hung jury (see United States vs. Shirley Cunningham and William Gallion, 2008, for an example). This is because prior knowledge and beliefs affect how people interpret evidence laid before them. Kolst , Bungum, Arnesan, Isnes, Kristensen, et al. (2006) note that SSI decision are only part of the equation when considering factors that influence decision making. Another part of the equation consists of affective factors, such as concern for the way a particular decision may affect others or whether or not it is morally or ethically the sion to make. Stated another way, in addition to using science content knowledge to support an argument and weigh a decision, people also consider how the issue will impact themselves and/or society and how that connects with their values (Sadler & Zeidler 2005).
10 When studying SSI negotiation, it is important to examine factors other than science content knowledge that may play a role in the decision making process. How a person interprets evidence is affected by prior knowledge and beliefs It is not suf ficient to merely show someone evidence; a person must incorporate that evidence into his or her preexisting knowledge base so that it can be applied to present and future situations. This is because once one is outside the context of a classroom, one may not think to consider science content when confronted with socioscientific situations. While this could be due to a lack of specific instruction on how to integrate content knowledge in the decision making process, it may not be the only reason people sepa rate their content knowledge from their everyday lives and decisions; emotive aspects and beliefs can also play a role. Chinn and Samarapungavan (2001) assert that though students can answer questions correctly on a test or tell a teacher what they think t he teacher wants to hear, that does not indicate that students give validity to or have internalized the content. Unfortunately, the disparity often goes unnoticed by teachers and researchers and can result in a false sense of success with teaching. Additi onal support for the notion that students do not always consider scientific merit to be the convincing factor when reasoning through an SSI situation comes from Sadler, Chambers, and Zeidler (2004). personal relevance, information quality, and previous personal beliefs where an article that most closely aligned with their personal beliefs was deemed most convincing. considera tions. In a study of informal reasoning patterns in a socioscientific context, Sadler and Zeidler (2003) gave special attention to how moral considerations play a role
11 in patterns of informal reasoning. Their study found that there are three distinct patte rns involved in informal reasoning: rationalistic, emotive, and intuitive. The rationalistic pattern is strictly cognitive wherein participants use reason and logic to support their position. The other two patterns, emotive and intuitive, are affective. Wi th intuitive reasoning, students resolved scenarios based on their initial thought or feelings. Emotive reasoning, though containing some rational aspects, also displays empathy and sympathy towards others. Also noted was that many students used each of th e three patterns in varying combinations and degrees in order to support their position on the socioscientific topics and that students' moral considerations were strongly embedded throughout the informal reasoning process. At this point, one may wonder w hat beliefs and morals have to do with understanding evolution. After all, evolution is a scientific theory supported by a preponderance of data; it is not a faith based belief system However, as discussed above, n internalizes science content. Many people view evolution as contradictory to their core religious beliefs and therefore do not accept evolutionary theory. In other words, there is a decision making process involved with whether or not to accept the scien tific validity of evolution, and, for some people, religion is weighed as a factor in that decision. Morals do not equate to religious beliefs in that many nonreligious or atheistic people exhibit strong moral reasoning and many religious people do not; ho wever, most major religions do attempt to foster certain moral values. This makes it possible, in the instances of those who hold religious views, that whether or not a concept conflicts with core religious beliefs is an affective factor that a ffects
12 decis ion evolution, the subsequent decision may be to reject evolution. These studies point to the need for a solid content component in a science curriculum; however science cont ent has always been taught in the classroom, and people still may fail to draw upon content knowledge or scientific evidence when making decisions that should be informed by science (Perkins, Faraday, & Bushey, 1991). This implies that scientific content k nowledge, while necessary, is an insufficient condition for reasoning out informed decisions in a socioscientific context. This could be explained by the role that prior beliefs play in learning content, as in the case where religious beliefs conflict with beliefs become a barrier to accepting scientific evidence. With respect to evolution, this belief barrier is well documented, and the leading cause is a perceived conflict with c ertain religious beliefs, specifically creationism (Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 2005). Science and religion are two different epistemological systems of knowledge, one evidence driven and the other faith driven While many people are able to de monstrate knowledge of evolution, it does not mean that those same people have internalized it into their personal belief systems and will use it in a decision making processes. In other words, a person may have an understanding of evolution well enough to pass an exam or even an entire course, but this does not mean that the same person accepts evolution a s a valid scientific theory.
13 Evidence B ased D ecision M aking and J ustification Studies involving quality of arguments used in making a decision for or against an issue also show a relationship between quality of argumentation (i.e. use of facts to justify claims) and content knowledge in that students with less content knowledge demonstrate poorer argumentation skills in a SSI context (Sadler & Fowler, 2006; Sadler & Donnelly, 2006). However, studies also show that even when a person has considerable content knowledge it is not always utilized in the decision making process ( Hogan, 2002 ; Zohar & Nemet, 2002). There is an implication that students must be explicitly taught to consider content knowledge when confronted with socioscientific issues. Furthermore, it has been shown that students do become more skilled with all aspects of arguing for or against a decision when argumentation is explicitly taugh t (Osborne, Erduran, & Simon, 2004). Studies also show that people may attempt to apply science content knowledge but do so with less skill than educators hope for. For example, while students are largely epistemically dependent on experts (Norris, 1995), they do try to assess the soundness of justifications proposed for knowledge claims; however, they rarely crosscheck references (Kolst et al. 2006). Students have a tendency to trust an article found in the popular media as long as it has the appearance of being trustworthy. Kolst et al. (2006) demonstrated this in a study of preservice science teachers who judged the trustworthiness of I nternet articles that they selected. Criteria used were quality of references, consistency of argumentation, face val idity of argumentation, and compatibility with their own subject knowledge. Students also considered the possible underlying interest, personal value
14 level of professional recognition, and level of ex pert agreement. Another study that points cite data, but not claims and often fail to articulate how specific data relate to particular claims (Sandoval & Millwood, 20 05). Not only are people less skilled at assessing knowledge claims, they themselves either knowingly or unknowingly may give faulty claims. There are times when students attempt to apply incorrect science content knowledge when negotiating SSI. For exampl e, the Sadler (2005) study described earlier in this chapter found that while some students alluded to evolutionary perspectives when considering a genetic engineering issue, many of them had misconceptions about evolution. A person must be shown how to i ncorporate scientific evidence into his or her preexisting knowledge base so that it can be applied to present and future situations. For example, Zohar and Nemet (2002) showed that when students are explicitly taught argumentation skills in the context of human genetic dilemmas, students were more apt to draw upon science content when formulating their arguments. However, students who were exposed only to the science content did not gain an increase in their argumentation skills. In a study of groups of 8 t h collaborative environmental management decision, Hogan (2002) found that across groups, students touched on themes scientists use to make similar decisions, and most focused narrowly on particular themes content knowledge and thinking skills for decision making about complex environmental issues. With respect to evolution, even when taught evidence based reasoning, students
15 who do not accept or understand ev olution may not use its content during SSI negotiation. Research Questions and Rationale RQ 1 As described earlier, a scientifically literate person is one who uses science content knowledge to make informed decisions, either personally or socially, abo ut topics or issues that have a connection with science. However, because factors other than science content play a role in decision making, this raises the question about the extent to which people use their content knowledge when making decisions. In ord er to answer this question, first it is necessary to characterize specific science content involved in various SSI contexts in terms of the types or taxonomies of content as well as the depth of content use. For that reason, the first set of research quest ions are: 1A. What specific evolutionary science content do college students evoke during SSI negotiation? 1B. What is the depth of the evolutionary science content reflected in Answering the above questions will result in the inductive generation of a rubric for quality of depth of content use during SSI negotiation. This rubric would potentially be useful to science educators with goals of examining the use of science content during SSI negotiation. For example, by kno wing specific
16 content likely to be addressed in various scenarios, results from this study can help both researchers and teachers in choosing an appropriate SSI scenario(s) for their purposes. Furthermore, this protocol for establishing a rubric could be u sed in future studies to examine use of science content in other SSI contexts, such as ones related to the ecology and the environment. The rubric created by answering the first set of research questions also has the potential to be useful to classroom te achers. The course of a school year in a typical science class creates many opportunities for use of SSI as a pedagogical tool. For example, a high school biology course could use SSI about stem cell research in the fall, reproductive cloning in the winter and global warming in the anticipate how students in a class might connect with specific SSI scenarios. A set of rubrics for multiple SSI scenarios can aide teachers in their decision about whether or not to use a particular SSI scenario. RQ 2 Evolutionary theory is deeply embedded in the science of biology, and many national organizations are of the opinion that understanding it is a necessity for scientific literacy (see A AAS, 2008; NABT, 2008; NRC, 1996 for examples), as will be explained further in Chapter Two However, while an understanding of evolution is critical for overall scientific literacy, many students do not accept it and/or are not comfortable enough with it to learn it, and many teachers are neither willing and/or able to teach it. This can be an impediment for those who use SSI in their research and/or teaching
17 because many SSI, particularly those biological based, such as cloning and gene therapy, involve c oncepts related to evolutionary theory in their underlying science content and Further study is needed to characterize the relationship between understanding and acceptance of evolution and the use of science content during SSI negotiation. The literature suggests that informal reasoning and argumentation involved in SSI negotiation are influenced by factors such as emotions, beliefs, and moral development. The acceptance or lack of acceptance of evolution is often a highly charged topic. In other words, many people feel very strongly about evolution, and this includes both those who accept it and those who do not. For that reason, acceptance of evolution was identified as a potential emotive factor in the negotiation of SSI which may contain content with evolutionary aspects. The of evolution is a mitigating factor in how evolution content is evoked during SSI negotiation. T herefore, those who do not accept evolution will either refuse to use its content during SSI negotiation or use it very poorly (possibly with misconceptions) even if they have a demonstrated knowledge of the concepts and are prompted to do so. Under this h ypothesis, those who have knowledge of and accept evolution have the greatest likelihood of scoring highest on the rubric created from research question 1. Those who may not have as much knowledge of evolution, yet accept it, have the potential to score hi gher on the rubric than 1) those with neither high knowledge nor acceptance of evolution or 2) those with higher knowledge of but do not accept evolution (please see Figure 1.)
18 The following research question will test the above hypothesis: 2. What is the nature of the interaction between evolution understanding and evolution acceptance as they relate to depth of use of evolution content during SSI negotiation? Figure 1 Hypothetical relationships among evolution understanding and acceptance and the depth of use of evolution content during SSI negotiation T he SSI movement will benefit from studies on the understanding and acceptance of evolution and the relationship between it and biology based SSI. This is particularly salient with respect to high school and college students since that is with whom the majority of SSI research and teaching occur (Sadler & Zeidler, 2005 for example ). The argument here is that acceptance and understanding of evolution may influence the types of science content as well as the depth of science content used during SSI negotiation, making this a study that will greatly enhance our literature base on the theory and practice of SSI instruction. 0 10 20 Depth of content use Evolution understanding High acceptance Average acceptance Low acceptance
19 While answering the first set of research questions will aid science educators i n understanding the use of science content within the context of certain SSI scenarios, the purpose of question 2 is to examine how the depth of evolution content used in the SSI s question is asked because of the possibility that while students may have knowledge of a subject, they may not have internalized it to a point where they can apply that knowledge to settings beyond their final exam. Answering this question will determine the extent to which internalization (or lack of internalization) of evolution content takes place in specific SSI settings. Significance of the Study Once factors that mitigate understanding and acceptance of evolutionary theory in the context of SSI are better understood, science educators will be better able to use SSI as a way to promote informed decision making, a key part of scientific literacy. Science for All Americans able to (AAAS, 1990, pp. xvii xviii). The National Science Education Standards define a processes 1996, p. 13). In other words, one who is scientifically literate uses science content knowled ge to make informed decisions, either personally or socially, about topics or issues that have a connection with science. The problem is that these reform documents
20 do not address the extent to which people ought to use their content knowledge when making decisions and what degree of influence affective factors beliefs can have and still be considered an informed decision. Not only is the use of SSI important in the U.S., but there are global implications as well. The field of scien ce education is becoming an international community with an increasing amount of research about improving science teaching and learning (Duit, 2007). Research involving SSI occurs not only in the United States (e.g. Zeidler, Sadler, Simmons, & Howes, 2004 ) but also internationally, including countries such as Norway (Kolst, 2006), Brazil (dosSantos & Mortimer, 2003), Portugal (Reis & Galvao, 2004), the United Kingdom (Hughes, 2000), Australia (Dawson & Venville, 200 9 ), and Canada (Bingle & Gaskell, 1994; Pedretti, 1999), to name a few. Furthermore, many countries, such as Taiwan (Center for Science Curriculum Studies, 2006) and most of Europe (Eurydice, 2006) are incorporating SSI into their national curriculum. Because acceptance and understanding of evol utionary theory varies across the globe, it becomes even more important to study it within the context of SSI. Finally, we know that affective factors such as emotions and intuition are used in reasoning out decisions in an SSI context (Sadler, 2004; Sad ler & Zeidler, 2004, 2005). However, we do not know how the factors which affect acceptance of evolution relate to the extent of emotions and intuition used in decision making. This will give science educators a more complete picture of how biology based S SI are negotiated inside or outside of the classroom.
21 C hapter 2 Introduction The purpose of this chapter i s to examine the literature with respect to the proposed research questions. Because this study addressed the use of science content, and specifi cally evolutionary theory, in the context of socioscientific issues (SSI) negotiation, this chapter began with an overview of evolutionary theory and was followed by making the connection between evolutionary theory and the whole of biological sciences and scientific literacy. This study also addressed understanding and acceptance of evolution; therefore a review of relevant literature was examined and followed by a review of prior research on informal reasoning and argumentation within a SSI negotiation co ntext. The Centrality of Evolution to Scientific Literacy Biological E volution While a full treatment of biological evolution can be found in countless books devoted to the topic, a brief overview is presented here. The initial 1859 publication of C On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1979/1859) explains descent with modification by means of natural selection, the key concept of evolution. Darwin observ ed that (1) there is variation within populations of organisms; (2) that the variation is passed from parents to offspring; and (3) that some individuals within a population are more successful at surviving and reproducing than others. From these observati ons
22 Darwin concluded that survival and reproduction are not random; instead, those with more favorable variations are more successful at survival and reproduction. Darwin called this natural selection. In short, according to natural selection, those that a re better adapted to their environment experience a greater probability of surviving to their have supported and expanded on his theory. For example, the field of genetics has shown that DNA is the molecule of heredity, which explains why offspring are likely to show traits of their parents. Mendelian genetics and an understanding of meiotic cell division always show traits of their parents. The famous Hardy Weinberg equation explains how changes in allele frequencies will cause entire populations of organisms to change over time. This equation holds true as long as there are no more than two alleles for a genetic trait, the breeding population is very large with no effects of genetic drift, mating is random, and there are no mutations, migration, or natural selection. In other words, a population can only remain in Hardy Weinberg equilibrium if evolution is not occurring. Countless studies of a va riety of populations of organisms have shown that Hardy Weinberg equilibrium does not occur in nature (see Asami, Gittenberger & Falkner, 2008; Galindo Sanchez et al., 2008 for examples). The advent of DNA sequencing technology has enabled biologists to c ompare gene sequences among species. The field of molecular phylogeny compares gene sequences and uses statistical computer modeling to demonstrate relationships between species and estimate how long ago they diverged from a common ancestor. Findings from such studies support existing and growing fossil evidence (Kittler, Kayser, & Stoneking, 2003, for example).
23 Knowledge of the molecular and physical mechanisms of evolution has applications within virtually every aspect of the life sciences. For example, it is because humans and other primates come from a common ancestor that medical trials of medicines and vaccines are able to be performed on laboratory animals. Another example of the applications of evolution understanding is found in the field of ecolo gy. Molecular techniques combined with concepts related to evolution are used by ecologists for the purposes of conservation of plants and animals. For example, Walker (1997) compared DNA sequences of samples of Chrysopsis floridana the endangered Florida Goldenaster, collected from various locations in Hillsborough County, Florida. She then compared the amount of genetic variation within populations to that of other populations. Her findings show that there is a barrier to gene flow between populations. B ecause the Goldenaster lives in a sand pine scrub habitat, which is highly valued for development, she concluded that habitat destruction is hindering the survival of this endangered native Florida plant. Other examples of the application of molecular tech niques and evolutionary theory within Florida include the melaleuca trees (Cook, Morris, Edwards, & Crisp, 2008), anoles (Kolbe et al., 2007), tardigrades (Garey, McInnes, & Nichols, 2008), freshwater mussels (Turner et al, 2000), and sea turtles (Bowen & Karl, 2007). In summary, instances of content related to evolutionary theory during SSI and/or ability to survive and create offspring. It includes genetic variati on of populations of organisms, DNA or protein sequences, common ancestry, fossils, and plant and/or animal diversity. Specific examples of how these might occur as references to
24 evolutionary theory during socioscientific decision making will be given late r in this chapter. Evolution and S cientific L iteracy Scientific literacy can be viewed in terms of knowledge about science or from a more sociocultural perspective, wherein one has an understanding of the practice of science and its relevance to everyday life (Sadler, 2007). While Chapter One described the importance of SSI as a means to achieving scientific literacy within a more sociocultural perspective (Zeidler, 2007), many national and international organizations view scientific literacy as knowledge about science. In the latter view, as embedded as evolution is in the science of biology, many are of the opinion that understanding it is a necessity for scientific literacy. Regarding biology content knowledge, a scientifically literate person needs to have a basic understanding of biological principles and processes in order to make sense of the myriad of instances where they come in to contact with them in day to day life. The field of biology is made up of many broad topics threaded and held together by the theory of biological evolution. Because of this, many national organizations, several of whom are used by states to base their state science standards, assume that a prerequisite for an overall understanding biology is a thorough background in biolo (NSTA, 2003) official position statement on the teaching of evolution states that it should be included in science education frameworks and curricula because it is a major unifying c oncept in science. It is further stated that learning evolution is necessary in order to achieve a sufficient level of scientific literacy. In their 1998 book, Teaching About
25 Evolution and the Nature of Science the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) state s, Teaching biology without evolution would be like teaching civics and never mentioning quote, he National Center for Science Education (NCSE, 2000) says this about evolution: It is the best, most accurate explanation we have for the variety we see in the living world, resulting from the research and experimentation of thousands of scientists for ov er a century. And, it is important. Children may not need to know what time of day George Washington was born, but they need to know he was our first president. In the same way, they may not need to know every detail of cell division, but they need to know about evolution because it is a key to understanding every aspect of the biological sciences, from genetics to animal behavior (NCSE located at http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/3117_evolution_creation_and_ scien_12_7_2000.asp). The National Associ eaching biology in an effective and scientifically honest manner requires that evolution be taught in a standards based instructional framework with effective classroom discussions and (NABT statement on teaching evolution located at http://nabt.org/sites/S1/index.php?p=65). In their National Science Education Standards (NSES), the National Research Council (NRC, 1996) considers evolution one of the major unifying concepts and processes in science: Beginning in grades K 4, the standards mention adaptation in
26 response to a changing environment. Biological evolution is mentioned in more detail in grades 5 8 by giving a more in depth treatment of adaptations. The grade 9 12 standards go into the greatest detail and treat biological evolution as a unifying concept. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (2008) views evolution as something beyond an important concept within biology and nature of science. It claims that one must also understand the physical sciences and mathematics in order to understand the evidence for evolution. The importance of evolution to science understanding is also stressed outside of the United States. The national curriculum in the United Kingdom, fo r example, includes key evolutionary concepts as one of the major sections in science (Department for Children, Schools, and Families, 2008). Acceptance and Understanding of Evolution Major organizations such as the AAAS, NSTA, NAS, NABT, and NCSE reco gnize the importance of evolution to scientific literacy, yet many people do not accept it as a valid scientific theory and object to it being taught in science classrooms. When wondering why this might be the case, the answer may seem simple: Some perceiv e a conflict between evolution and certain religious beliefs. However, the stances of both theologians and clergy in many religions disagree. For example, Colburn & Henriques (2006) surveyed 53 clergy members from the following Christian religions includin g Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, United Church of Christ, and Disciples of Christ, to elicit their views about science, religion, and the evolution/creationism debate. They found that the majority of clergy find no conflict
27 between evolution and creation, and most strongly disagreed that evolution is incompatible with God. Interestingly, when compared to results from a similar survey given to teachers, the clergy were most likely to accept evolution. When asked for their suggestions for how teachers might address the evolution/creation debate in the classroom, their suggestions included asking clergy to visit the classroom; having encourage stud ents to think on their own and examine their beliefs; and not addressing religion at all since most science teachers are not trained or qualified to teach religion. Evolution in its common understand ing as a theory to explain the biological changes in organisms is not contrary to the Catholic understanding of creation, provided that any theory of evolution does not deny that God brought all things into existence and that He creates each individual sou ( http://www.flacathconf.org/LegReport.htm). If evolution does not conflict with many religions, one might think that perhaps those that do not accept it simply do not have a good understanding of evolution (or possibly their religion); however the ans on the relationship between understanding and acceptance of evolution. Nehm & Schonfeld (2007) investigated whether or not an increase in knowledge of evolution and nature of science was associated with a pref erence in teaching evolution in preservice secondary science teachers. Though significant gains were made in evolution knowledge majority preferred that creationist id eas be taught in schools.
28 Dedniz, Donnelly, and Yilmaz (2008) studied 132 Turkish preservice biology Evolution (MATE: Rutledge & Warden, 1999) instrument. They also measur ed epistemological beliefs using a 38 item scale developed by Wood and Kardash (2002), and thinking dispositions using the Actively Openminded scale (AOT: S, West, & Stanovich, 1999). Using a hierarchal multiple regression they found that a significant c orrelation exists between knowledge and acceptance of evolution. In addition, participants with openness to belief change were more likely to accept evolution, as were those who have parents with a higher education level. The differing results between the Nehm and Schonfeld (2007) and Dedniz, Donnelly, & Yilmaz (2008) studies described above makes one wonder which comes first, acceptance of evolution or understanding it. A study by Ingram & Nelson (2006) attempted to answer that question. They investigate d the extent to which Midwestern acceptance of evolution, and the relationship between acceptance of evolution and achievement in an advanced college evolution course. Over th e course of three semesters (n = 255), a pre post design was used to measure gains in acceptance of evolution by using a survey similar to the MATE (Rutledge & Warden, 1999) and to determine the hievement in an upper level evolution course It was determined that almost 2/3 of students accepted evolution initially whereas 3/4 accepted it by the end of the course. The greatest gains were noted for students who were initially undecided about whethe r to accept evolution. In addition,
29 there was no strong relation between acceptance of evolution and achievement in the course. Sinatra, Southerland, McConaughy, and Demastes (2003) measured understanding and acceptance of evolution in addition to epistem ological beliefs and cognitive dispositions in 93 students enrolled in an undergraduate non majors biology course They found a strong correlation between understanding and acceptance of the noncontroversial topic of photosynthesis; however there was no co rrelation between understanding and acceptance of animal or human evolution. Epistemological beliefs were related to acceptance of human evolution but not animal evolution or photosynthesis. The authors conclude that knowledge may need to reach a critical level before it can influence acceptance. This makes sense given that detailed specifics on how evidence for evolution is collected often is not learned until upper level undergraduate or graduate level biology coursework. If the goal of science e ducators is to achieve scientifically literate people, it begs the question to what extent people are scientifically literate if they do not accept the fundamental unifying theme of biology ? The corollary question to be raised is are those who do not acc ept evolution capable of making informed decisions within a socioscientific context? The next section of this chapter takes a closer look at decision making within an SSI context. Decision M aking and SSI For the purposes of this study, negotiation of SSI is defined as the process of coming to a decision about a specific socioscientific issue. Decision making is the act of choosing a course of action when one is confronted with options. In order to effectively
30 make decisions, one must be able to envision re levant choices, identify the potential consequences of each, and determine the likelihood that each would occur before choosing the most reasonable choice. This process is influenced by cognitive, psychological, and societal factors (Gordon, 1996). Cogniti ve factors include reasoning and perception. Psychological factors include personality traits, such as identity, tendency to take risks, and effects from traumatic prior events. Societal factors include ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomic status. Reaso ning occurs in one of two ways: deductive (formal) and inductive (informal). In the case of formal deductive reasoning, a conclusion is drawn based on a particular premise. This type of reasoning is typically associated with well structured problems. Infor mal reasoning, on the other hand, is more often associated with ill structured problems, such as SSI, because it uses evidence to create a conclusion or come to a decision. Kuhn (1991) and Means and Voss (1996) assert that issues which invoke informal reas oning are ones that require an individual to support a claim by building an argument. For that reason, measures of informal reasoning quality often center on the arguments used during the informal reasoning process (Kolst, 2006; Means & Voss, 1996). In th is case, arguments are defined as assertions accompanied by justification (Kuhn, 1991; Toulmin, 1958) and have often been used to examine argumentation quality (Driver, Newton & Osborne, 2000; Erduran, Simon, & Osborne, 2004; Sadler & Fowler, 2006). Beli that conflicts with his or her beliefs (Evans, 2002). This has been shown to be the case in
31 studies of scientific thinking (Greenhoot, Semb, Colombo, & Schreiber, 2004), as well as in logic based reasoning (deNeys, 2006). Belief bias is separate from confirmation bias, also known as myside bias, where a person seeks evidence that will confirm pri or beliefs. When examining evidence used during SSI negotiation, one ought to also consider both the amount of content knowledge a person has. Informal R easoning O even if a person has learned the content well enough to recall it on an exam. For example, astronomy (Samarapungavan, Vosniadou, & Brew er, 1996), one 7 year old girl was interviewed and gave answers that consistently indicated a belief in the heliocentric model of the universe. The next day at lunchtime, the girl approached the interviewer and asked whether the earth really moved or wheth er the sun and moon moved around the earth. The interviewer asked her what she really thought. She responded that according to her teacher, the earth spins on its axis to cause the day/night cycle, but that she thought that the sun and moon went up and dow n, from ocean to sky and back, to cause the day/night cycle. Beliefs and opinions also play a role in how one determines the validity of evidence during decision making. In a study done by Sadler, Chambers, and Zeidler (2004), students were given two confl icting articles about global warming and asked to categories: (1) personal relevance, (2) better data and interpretation, (3) better
32 explanation, and (4) equally meri torious. Students were then asked to discern which was on personal relevance, information quality, and previous personal beliefs wherein the article most closely alig ned with their personal beliefs was deemed most convincing An interesting pattern that emerged was that many students did not agree with the same article for both questions, implying that a large number of students do not consider scientific merit to be a convincing factor when considering socioscientific issues. This supports previous findings by Zeidler, Walker, Ackett, and Simmons (2002) that students often separate scientific knowledge and personal opinion This phenomenon was also noted by Zeidler, Ap plebaum, & Sadler (2006). They found that when high school students were confronted with SSI that conflicted with their core beliefs or personal experience, the data w ere often dismissed. When students were compelled to defend their opinions (i.e. argue) they included their core beliefs and personal experiences. Thus, beliefs and opinions play a role in argumentation and subsequent decision making. In addition to using science content knowledge to support an argument and weigh a decision, people also cons ider how the issue will impact them and/or society and how that connects with their moral values (Sadler & Zeidler, 2005). This is not a new idea. In book III of his A Treatise of Human Nature (1740), David Hume states in part I, section I: Since morals, t herefore, have an influence on the actions and affections, it follows that they cannot be derived from reason; and that because reason alone, as we have already proved, can never have any such influence. Morals excite passions, and produce or
33 prevent actio ns. Reason of itself is utterly impotent in this particular. The rules of morality, therefore, are not conclusions of our reason (p 5). In a study of informal reasoning patterns in a socioscientific context, Sadler and Zeidler (2004) gave special attenti on to how moral considerations play a role in patterns of informal reasoning. In this study, college students (15 biology majors and 15 non science majors) were given a brief description of gene therapy and then were given a prompt, such as a description o f Huntington's disease, for example, and asked if they approve or disapprove of gene therapy in that context. Students were then asked questions designed to elicit a rationale for that position followed by a request to give a counter argument and a rebutta l to the counter argument. This process was repeated using a cloning scenario. Students then underwent a second interview designed to elicit personal experiences, social considerations, and morality used in the overall informal reasoning pattern. Following a thorough qualitative analysis, it was found that there are three distinct patterns to informal reasoning: rationalistic, emotive, and intuitive. The rationalistic pattern is strictly cognitive wherein participants use reason and logic to support their p osition. The other two patterns, emotive and intuitive, are affective. With intuitive reasoning, students resolved scenarios based on their initial thought or feelings. Emotive reasoning, though containing some rational aspects, also displays empathy and s ympathy towards others. Also noted was that many students used each of the three patterns in varying combinations and degrees in order to support their position on the
34 socioscientific topics and that students' moral considerations were strongly embedded th roughout the informal reasoning process. While exploring informal reasoning patterns in the context of SSI in the study mentioned above, Sadler (2005) took a closer look at the types of comments made by students. He noted that 8 of the 15 biology majors ma de comments indicative of an evolutionary perspective. In these cases many responses equated evolution to a natural order of life that should not be disrupted. It was also noted that many comments revealed the misconception that evolution has a purpose or predetermined outcome. On the other hand, while many non science majors also rejected genetic engineering on the grounds that it disrupts a natural order, they did not explicitly mention that the natural order is generated by evolution. Sadler found that biology students based decisions on either of the two genetic engineering scenarios given but that the evolutionary consequences differed by scenario. For example, with respect to gene therapy, the focus was on altering human evolution, while with cloning the focus was on genetic diversity. Sadler concludes that the misconceptions about evolution displayed by college biology majors is a cause for concern and that additional studies with a larger sample are needed to further study this. He further adds that assessing student understanding of evolutionary theory in the
35 Argumentation There is much science education research their influence on decision making. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, an interpreted by some as rhetorical or didactic (e.g. Kuhn, 1992; Boulter & Gilbert, 1995), others interpret it as multivoiced in that the argumentation process can occur within a social group. It is the second interpretation that many science educators in terested in argumentation find alluring because the practice of argument in groups can be a tool for scaffolding individual student s argumentation and subsequent decision making (Driver, Newton, & Osborne, 2000). Studies of argumentation in the context of science classrooms are generally regarded as a valuable contribution to research in science education (Driver, Newton, & Osborne, 2000). For one thing, there is the belief that practicing argumentation in the classroom will enable students to critically e xamine scientific claims and be better equipped to confront and make informed decisions about issues that appear in daily life (Norris & Phillips, 1994). Second, because scientists use argumentation in the form of weighing evidence, publishing in peer revi ewed journals, and presenting at conferences, it is argued that exposing students to the norms of scientific argument will give them a better understanding of scientific claims and reduce the positivist view of science that is taught in the classroom (Driv er, Newton, & Osborne, 2000; Duschl & Osborne, 2002). Third, Driver, Newton, and Osborne (2000) argue that argumentation will help students develop conceptual understanding, investigative competence, and understand science as a
36 social process. Related to t his, Zeidler and Sadler (2008) promote argumentation in an SSI context as a vehicle for citizenship education. Given the three reasons mentioned above, it can be assumed that studying how students use argumentation will better equip science teachers to us e it in the classroom. It might also be assumed that this will give students not only a better understanding of the nature of science, but also help them to become scientifically literate citizens capable of making informed decisions by using scientific kn owledge to support their arguments. However, this is not always the case. model. In this model the main components of an argument are: Data: The facts surrounding the argument, establishes the basis of the argument Claim: The part of the argument the arguer wants to prove. It is the purpose behind the argument. Warrant: Logical connection between data and claim. Backing: Basic assumptions that provide support for the warrant Qua lifier: Limitations of the claim Reservation: Exceptions to the claim argument. Logic provides the rules for relating premises to conclusions, while argument is the practice o f it. Because of this, it would be easy to assume that argumentation and its argumentation pattern to provide a basis for developing tools to analyze arguments (see
37 Erdu ran, Simon, & Osborne, 2004). While these studies are worthwhile for gaining an understanding of which components of an argument people are likely to be weak, the assumption that arguments are constructed around scientific facts prevents researchers from c specific decision. As described in the informal reasoning section of this chapter, students do not always or exclusively use content knowledge when reasoning out their decisio ns. Beliefs, opinions, and moral considerations play perhaps an even larger role. When examining how the quality of argumentation in a genetic engineering SSI context is affected by content knowledge and morality in 56 high school students, Sadler and Don nelly (2006) found no statistically significant differences between the three variables They suggest that this could be due to a lack of background knowledge in genetics and propose that there could be a non linear relationship between content knowledge a nd argumentation quality. Sadler and Fowler (2006) tested the Sadler & Donnelly (2006) Threshold Model of Content Knowledge Transfer (TMCKT) by examining content knowledge and argumentation quality in a genetic engineering SSI context in college undergradu ate biology majors and non majors. Data from their study support TMCKT in that biology majors demonstrated much higher argumentation quality than did the non majors or the high school students from the Sadler and Donnelly (2006) study. Dawson and Venvill e (200 9 argumentation and informal reasoning about biotechnology. Groups of 2 3 students underwent semi structured interviews during which they were asked about their understanding and views on various types of biotechnology, including cloning, genetic
38 testing for diseases, paternity, and forensics. These topics were chosen because they are SSI underpinned by an understanding of genetics, and a variety of issues was used in order to observe a range of reasoning patterns. Students were not prompted to offer rationales or counter positions. Using two researchers to code student responses, informal reasoning patterns were categorized as rationalistic, intuitive, emotive, or a combination of those as described by Sa dler and Zeidler (2005). Argumentation quality was analyzed in a manner similar to Sadler and Fowler (2006) where student statements were categorized into levels. Level 1 was a claim only; level 2 statements contained a claim plus data and/or warrants; the third level also included backing or a qualifier, and level 4 contained all of the above mentioned elements. Results show that the patterns of informal reasoning most often used by students across SSI topics were intuitive and emotive. This differs from p atterns observed by Sadler and Zeidler (2005) where rationalistic reasoning was more common. The authors explain that a possible reason for this is that that older students in the Sadler & Zeidler (2005) study were better able to articulate their emotive a nd rationalistic reasoning due to the Threshold Theory of Content Knowledge Transfer (Sadler & Donnelly, 2006; Sadler & Fowler, 2006) described earlier. Argumentation quality was at a level 2 for the majority of students across the topics. When examining informal reasoning patterns together with argumentation quality, it was noted that level 2 arguments coincided with intuitive and/or emotive informal reasoning, and level 4 arguments contained rationalistic informal reasoning, either alone or in some combi nation with emotional and intuitive informal reasoning. The authors claim that rationalistic informal reasoning is required to make a connection between
39 complex reasoning pattern (combination of rationalistic and emotive and/or intuitive) is essential for students to be scientifically literate, informed decision makers in an SSI context. This study is unique in that it examines informal reasoning and argumentation quality with the same data set in the context of SSI; however, one weakness is that, while the authors mention a similarity of informal reasoning and argumentation patterns across ence content used. Given that they used these particular SSI because they all have ties to genetics and biotechnology, an exploration of genetics content stated by students across scenarios would have strengthened their study One interesting thing to note which may be pertinent to this proposed study is that when looking at the examples given for rationalistic reasoning patterns, there is a clear connection to natural selection (evolution). For example, when discussing genetically modified foods, one stud ent said d die out and
40 Summary This chapter explored what evolution is and why it is important to scientific literacy. It showed that the role of content knowledge, including evolution content, on evidence based reason ing is not as great as was once thought within the context of SSI scenarios with a biological context. Though students can be taught to rationally utilize science content in a decision making process, their core beliefs, personal experiences, and affective factors continue to play a strong role. This includes acceptance or rejection of evolution. A better understanding of the interplay between the understanding and acceptance of evolution and SSI negotiation is essential for gaining a clearer picture of how to achieve a population of informed decision makers.
41 C hapter 3 Introduction The focus of this study was to examine the use of evolution science content and the roles of understanding and acceptance of evolution on the use of content during sociosci entific issues (SSI) negotiation. The following research questions collectively addressed the use of evolution science content during SSI negotiation and interactions between understanding evolution, acceptance of evolution, and how deeply students use evo lution when negotiating SSI. 1A. What specific science content do college students evoke during SSI negotiation? 1B. What is the depth of evolutionary science content reflected in college 2. What is the nature of the interactio n between evolution understanding and evolution acceptance as they relate to depth of use of evolution content during SSI negotiation? This chapter gives an overview of the design of the study, a description of the target and accessible populations, inst ruments used in the study, and a description of data collection and analysis by research question.
42 Overview Participants in this mixed methods study were students enrolled in senior level college courses taught through the Integrated Biology and Geography departments during March and April of 2009. The primary investigator visited each of the classes, informed the students about the study, and invited them to participate. Those who chose to participate completed a four part survey. The first part was the S ocioscientific Issues Questionnaire (SSI Q). This used three different scenarios, which were given in random order. The second part of the survey was an assessment of conceptual understanding of evolution, and the third part was an assessment of acceptance of evolution. The instrumentation section of this chapter (pp. 4 9 5 7 ) describes each of these assessments in detail. The fourth part of the survey asked for demographic information where p articipants were asked to fill out an information sheet with open ended questions asking for their major, gender, age, number of college level biology courses, ethnicity, religious affiliation and whether or not they would be willing to participate in a follow up interview. Please see Appendices A E for each part of the survey and the interview protocol Participants typically completed the survey within 30 60 minutes (average 45 minutes). Figure 2 shows a flowchart of the overall study design.
43 Figure 2 Flowchart of the study design
44 Sample Target P opulation The population o f interest in this study was undergraduate college students enrolled at the University of South Florida. While much SSI research has been done with high school students, the threshold theory content knowledge transfer (Sadler & Donnelly, 2006; Sadler & Fow ler, 2006) gave the expectation that both evolution understanding and the use of science content to make informed decisions would yield a greater range of data in college students than would be gained by examining high school students. The University of universities and offers 219 undergraduate, graduate, and specialist degree programs to over 46,000 students at campuses located in Tampa, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Lakeland, Florida. Of the over 3 5,000 undergraduate students enrolled, nearly 25,000 are considered upper level with over 60 credits hours of coursework (20,000 at the Tampa campus). Participants Because many people may not use or only minimally use science content during SSI negot iation it was important that the sample included those who we could reasonably expect to have advanced knowledge in the sciences as well as those who may not have as much knowledge. For that reason, the sample consisted of upper level undergraduate student s from a range of backgrounds, including biology and biomedical science, in
45 addition to those from other majors, including philosophy, environmental science, psychology, anthropology, and criminology. Participants included students enrolled in either a 4000 level biology course (Animal Behavior or Organic Evolution) or 4000 level non majors course (Florida Ecosystems or Environmental Issues) at the USF Tampa campus during the spring semester of 2009. With the permission of the course instructors, their department chairs, and approval of the USF Institutional Review Board, the principal investigator went to each individual class and invited students to participate in the study. Of the 110 students asked, a total of 60 students participated in the study, m aking a response rate of 55%. The total number of students present in class and the number who participated in the study appear in Table 1 along with a brief description for each course.
46 Table 1 Courses from which participants were sampled Co urse number and title Course description Number of students enrolled Number of students asked to participate Number of students who participated ZOO 4513C: Animal Behavior (3 credits) For advanced biology majors with prior coursework in Biology I & II, G eneral and Organic chemistry, Genetics, Ecology, and Cell Biology. It is an introduction to comparative animal behavior with analysis of types of animal behavior, their function and evolutionary origin. 61 50 40 PCB 4674: Organic Evolution (3 credits) For advanced biology majors with prior coursework in Biology I & II, General Chemistry, and Genetics. It is an introduction to modern evolutionary theory focusing on population genetics, adaptations, speciation theory, phylogeny, human evolution and related a reas. 44 19 3
47 Table 1 (Continued) Course description Number of students enrolled Number of students asked to participate Number of students who participated Number of students who participated BSC 4057: Environmental Issues (3 credits) This course is open to all students and has no required prerequisite coursework. The course fulfills a USF exit course requirement. It is a study of biological, economic, ethical, legal, political and social issues relating to current environmental problems. 11 5 1 EVR 4930: Ecosystems of Florida (3 credits) This course is open to all students and has no required prerequisite coursework. It is a survey of the diversity of ecosystems found in Florida. 49 36 16
48 Participant D emographics Participants include d 36 females and 24 males ranging in age from 19 to 37 years old (mean age = 23.2 years). Most of the students were White (n = 42), and the remainder were African American (n = 1), Hispanic American (n = 3), Middle Eastern (n = 2), Indian (n = 1), Asian Am erican (n = 3), and no response (n = 8) ( see table 2). Participants represented a variety of religious backgrounds including Catholic (n = 12), Protestant Christian (n = 14), Agnostic/Athiest (n = 3), Islam (n = 4), Hindu (n = 2), Buddist (n = 1), Judiasm (n = 2), Wiccan (n = 2), no particular religion (n = 13) S even participants did not respond (see Table 3) Table 2 Participant demographics by race/ethnicity Race or ethnicity Number of participants White 42 African American 1 Hispanic American 3 Middle eastern 2 Indian 1 Asian American 3 No response 8
49 Instrumentation Pilot Study of I nstruments Pilot testing of the SSI Q, Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS), and Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) instruments and the interview p rotocol was done during January and February of 2009 with 11 students enrolled in a Cellular, Molecular, and Microbiology Department capstone course titled Table 3 Participant demographics by religion Religion Number of participants Catholic 12 Protestant Christian 14 Islam 4 Hindu 2 Buddhist 1 Jewish 2 Wiccan 2 Agnostic/Atheist 3 No re ligion 13 No response 7
50 age from 21 t o 34 years old, and consisted of 6 females and 5 males. Participants represented a variety of religions, including Hindu, Wicca, Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, and Atheism or Agnosticism. Most identified with a White or Caucasian ethnicity, with one Asian American and one Hispanic. The primary investigator approached participants during their class time and gained their permission to pilot test the instruments and interview protocol for this study. Participants first completed the CINS and MATE, an d then meeting times were arranged for each to visit the primary investigator to complete the SSI Q and a follow up interview. Descriptions of results from the pilot testing of each instrument appear next in their respective sections. SSI Questionnaire ( RQ 1) As described in Chapter 1, negotiation of SSI involves coming to a decision about or developing a position regarding an SSI. In this study a written questionnaire was used to examine SSI negotiation where students were given several SSI scenarios and asked to come to a decision or resolution about each. Due to the nature of this study, it was important to choose scenarios which were likely to incorporate basic evolutionary concepts and have the potential to give a diverse range of responses for each of the variables. Because contexts involving genetic engineering and medicine have been shown to be ideal for this situation (Dawson & Venville, 200 9 ; Sadler, 2005; Sadler & Fowler, 2006), these types of scenarios were chosen for the study. The initial ve rsion of the SSI Questionnaire consisted of four
51 scenarios: reproductive cloning, gene therapy for intelligence, use of preventative antibiotics, and use of the MMR vaccine in small children. The questionnaire was based on the interview protocol developed by Sadler (2003) to study SSI negotiation and adapted to include additional prompts to elicit use of science content, particularly evolutionary content, and with fewer SSI scenarios. Participants re ad a brief description of gene therapy and were then asked to offer a position on whether or not they approve of gene therapy for a scenario involving the improvement of intelligence in humans. A series of questions designed to elicit a rationale to suppor t the position, pose a counter position, and a rebuttal to the counter position were asked in order to allow participants multiple opportunities to utilize science content in their SSI negotiation. An additional question designed to prompt students to rela te the scenario to evolution was added. This procedure was repeated with the remaining scenarios. During pilot testing, participants were given each of the scenarios in random order. Time to complete the entire set of scenarios ranged from 15 40 minutes After examining the initial scoring rubric, which is described in greater detail later in this section, it was noted that participants consistently scored poorly on the fourth scenario, no matter which scenario it was. It was also noted that the vaccinat ion scenario did not elicit as much depth of evolutionary content use as the other three scenarios. For these reasons, the primary investigator decided to remove the vaccination scenario from the SSI Q instrument in order to prevent the above mentioned pro blems and to shorten the overall instrument. The final version of the SSI Q is located in Appendix A.
52 Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (RQ 2) Participants were assessed for their understanding of evolution using the Conceptual Inventory of Na tural Selection (CINS: Anderson, Fisher, & Norman, 2002). This instrument was made up of 20 multiple choice items designed to measure conceptual understanding of the following evolutionary concepts: biotic potential, population stability, natural resources limited survival, variation within a population, variation inheritability, differential survival, changes in populations, origin of variation, and speciation. Items were developed based on scenarios selected from evolutionary biology literature and stud ended questions about natural selection. Initial field testing was done with four groups of 100 students each at ethnically diverse community colleges in Southern California. Validity In order to determine whether the instrument w as measuring the desired construct, seven students were interviewed about their understanding of natural selection. In addition, three university and two community college biology professors reviewed the instrument for con tent validity. Items were revised based on feedback from student biology and non biology majors. Following an item analysis, the instrument was revised again and administered to 206 students enrolled in one of two non majors biology courses. Reliabilit y. An item analysis showed the difficulty of items had an average of 46.4%, which is close to the typical average difficulty suggested by Gronlund (1993). Internal consistency was measured using the Kuder Richards on 20 (KR 20 ) and resulted in
53 58 for students enrolled in one class and 64 for students enrolled in the other class. This is an acceptable reliability coefficient according to Gronlund (1993). A principal components analysis supported internal consistency in that items measuring the same concept co varied highly with each other and loaded on the same component, whereas items that did not measure the same concept loaded onto other components. The internal consistency of this instrument is supported by other studies as well including Nehm and biology majors and non The CINS instrument was scored by assigning one point for each correct answer. Because the instrument is made up of 20 items, the possible score range was 0 20. During pilot testing, scores on the CINS ranged from 11 to 20 with a mean of 16.6 and a .83. Because this is abo ve the predetermined threshold of .79, it was decided the study could proceed without modification to the CINS instrument. Please see Appendix B for the complete instrument. Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (RQ 2) e of evolution was assessed using the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE: Rutledge & Warden, 1999). This instrument contained 20 Likert scaled items designed to assess the processes of evolution, available evidence of evolutionary chang e, the ability of evolution to explain phenomena, human evolution, age of earth, validity of science as a way of knowing, and the current status of evolutionary theory within the scientific community.
54 Validity Items were reviewed by five university fac ulty with expertise in evolutionary biology and science education and rated for validity on a scale of 1 5 (1 is invalid and 5 indicates a high confidence that the item measures the construct). Items with a minimum scale of 3.5 were used, and the average r ating of items in the instrument was 4.7. A principal components factor analysis revealed a single factor and all items achieved loading values greater than .65. This indicated that the instrument has construct validity in that each item contributed signif icantly to a single factor. Reliability The authors of the MATE established r eliability by administering the instrument to 552 Indiana high school teachers. The Cronbach alpha was .98, and item analysis showed that each of the 20 items had a corrected i tem total correlation greater than .65. Though this instrument was originally created for high school science teachers, reliability of the MATE instrument has since been established for other samples including college non science and biology majors (test r & Yilmaz, 2008), making it a suitable instrument for this study. Scoring of the MATE was as follows: The 20 items were ra ted a 1 5 Likert scale. After reverse scoring negatively phrased items (#2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15, 17, & 19), possible scores ranged from 20 to 100. During pilot testing, scores on the MATE instrument ranged from 49 100 with a mean of 86.6 and a standar d deviation of 15.3. The internal consistency for the sample in this study as was .97. Given that the internal consistency was above a predetermined threshold of .79 and that students did not report difficulty understanding the questions when asked, it was
55 decided that the study could proceed without modification to the MATE instrument. The complete instrument is located in Appendix C. Semi S tructured I nterviews The purpose of the semi structured interviews was to verify findin gs of data collected by the SSI Q, CINS, and MATE instruments. The interview questions fell into three categories. The first was a series of questions similar to those from the cloning scenario in the SSI Q. The second category was a set of four questions from the Oral Response Instrument (ORI) described by Nehm and Schonfeld (2008) as a measure of Do you accept the theory of he theory that you agree with and other parts that you do not, such as human evolution, the age of the Interviews were conducted individually by the primary investigator and took place in a private office in order to help make participants feel more at ease during the interview process. Participants were reminded of the purpose of the study and told that the purpose of the interview was to verify data previously collected from the SSI Q, CI NS, and MATE and to further explore how individuals thought about and made decisions regarding issues that involve applications of science. They were encouraged to ask for clarification at any time during the interview and to answer honestly. They were ass ured of the confidentiality of their responses.
56 Each interview was audio recorded and later transcribed. Analysis of interview transcripts was conducted to determine whether data collected from the SSI Q, CINS, and MATE were consistent with what participa nts said during the interview. During the pilot testing, it beca me obvious that a revision of one of the questions was necessary The question was A number of mosquito populations no longer die when DDT (a chemical used to kill insects) is sprayed on t hem, but many years ago DDT killed most mosquitoes. Since DDT is no longer legal to use in the United States, this question did not seem relevant to the participants. Th erefore, it was changed to read, them, but many years ago pesticides killed most mosquitoes. Could you explain icides are Participants for semi structured interviews were selected for maximum variation of evolution content knowledge and acceptance of evolution, as well as willingness to participate. While collecting participant data, students wer e asked whether or not they would be willing to participate in a follow up interview. The sample began with four sets of participants randomly selected from those who indicated that they would be willing to undergo an interview. The first strata consisted of those with the upper half scores on the measures of both understanding and acceptance of evolution. The second consisted of the lower half of understanding and upper half of acceptance. The third was made up of the higher half of understanding and lower half of
57 acceptance, while the fourth came from the lower half of both understanding and acceptance. A total of twelve students were contacted regarding a follow up interview, and eight students participated. Table 4 shows the number of participants for ea ch category. The final interview protocol appears in Appendix E Table 4 Participants interviewed by category Lower half of acceptance Upper half of acceptance Lower half of understanding 2 3 Upper half of understanding 3 4 Analysis of the inte rviews was designed to be used to validate the results from the SSI Q, CINS, and MATE. As such, the intention was to score each section of the interview and test for statistically significant correlation. However, the number of students who participated in the interview was too small to conduct a meaningful statistical analysis. Data Analyses This section describes how data w ere analyzed to answer each research question. Analysis for the first research questions was done in a qualitative manner with t he
58 ultimate result being a description of science content used during SSI negotiation and rubric for scoring how deeply evolution content is used. Research Q uestion 1 The first research question and its sub questions examined the use of science content d uring SSI negotiation. Responses to the SSI Questionnaire were transcribed and used to explore the following two questions: What specific science content do college students evoke during SSI negotiation? And, what is the depth of evolutionary science conte negotiation? Science C ontent related to both evolutionary theory and content that does not relate to evolutionary theory. The primary investigator had a strong background in the biological sciences including a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and over 21 credits of graduate level coursework in biology, including several evolution courses, and has taught general biology, microbiology and genetics at the university level. She worked closely with an expert in biological evolution who conducted dissertation research on an evolutionary topic and had extensive experience in teaching evolution as well as a host of other topics related to b iology. An initial list of references to content was compiled by the primary investigator using data from the pilot study and presented to the biology expert for her review. The final list was created as follows: The primary investigator and the biology e xpert
59 independently examined 15 transcripts to identify categories of science content discussed their findings and grouped the categories into themes, and reached agreemen t for a list of evolutionary science categories. The primary investigator then analyzed the remaining transcripts, and any new categories were discussed with the biology expert on a case by case basis. The last 15 transcripts analyzed produced no new categ ories, and it was assumed that redundancy had been reached. Six themes of science content were found in each of the three scenarios. Four of the themes related specifically to evolutionary theory: Variation, Inheritance, Differential Success, and Change. A fifth theme was described as Misconceptions related to explicitly tied to evolution. Because characterization of the different themes is important to describing the creation of the depth of content use rubric, each of the six themes is described below and again in greater detail in Chapter 4. Theme One Variation. References to variation included acknowledgement that phenotypic and/or genetic variation exists in a population of organisms and/or is pool. Please see Table 5 for references and examples.
60 Table 5 References and examples for the Variation theme Reference Examp le Necessity of variation /genetic diversity for evolution to occur My position is pro cloning only in that I support liberty, so an argument in opposition could be that cloning should be made illegal due to the lack of genetic diversity. If cloning be came a common place practice then human beings as a species would be slowing evolutionary progress by reducing genetic diversity. Effect on gene pool or on genetic diversity This could enter some redundancy into the gene pool of a population and this would not allow the population to evolve as rapidly because the same genes would just be repeated over and over again Some think that cloning could have an effect on the human gene pool. Theme Two I nheritanc e. This theme included references to the inheritance of traits or the passing of genes from parent(s) to offspring. Also included were responses that referred to the notion that not all traits are passed on because some are due to environmental effects (i.e. nature versus nurture) and general r eferences to reproduction. Table 6 outlines references to this theme and gives examples.
61 Table 6 References and examples for the Inheritance theme Reference Examples Pass on traits/genes They could hypothesize that a couple that is not 100% healthy th at chooses reproductive cloning could being into the world a child that is unequally healthy An argument would be that couples who can't have children naturally have an option to continue to pass on their genes (although not combined genes with the partne r's genes to the "clone" offspring. In this way his/her genes are not lost. Nature/Nurture; environmental effects This scenario connects to evolutionary theory via the nature versus nurture argument. One side argues that it is solely the genes that resul t in an organism being what it is, while the other side argues that it is the environment that shapes an organism. In this scenario, the hypothesis is that changing a gene would make potential offspring smarter, but I believe it will not work unless change s are made to the environment as well. I would tell them that making a clone is not a good option because even though they look alike they will not have the same personality. Reproduction The
62 Theme Three Differential Succes s. The differential success theme relates to the concept that some individuals in a population are more successful than others at surviving and reproducing. Specific references include fitness, competition for survival, production of offspring (or inability to), and selective pressures, and natural selection. Table 7 describes this theme. Table 7 References and examples of the Differential Success theme References Examples Fitness I would say that if y ou are sterile by nature your fitness is zero, evolutionary speaking. terms, a couple that could not have children naturally would not be fit, and thus, their genes would not survive. However, reproductive cloning would allow them to bypass that definition. Produce offspring I guess everyone has the right to raise children or to fulfill their evolutionary pu rpose, which is to reproduce. In addition, humans are not much different from the other organisms on Earth in the sense that reproducing and getting your genes into the next generation is (usually) an innately important event for which we strive. Cloning would be a way to achieve this when it is otherwise not possible. Not all should reproduce No. There is obviously a genetic reason why they are unable to produce a child. There is a reason that the couple is infertile. They aren't meant to reproduce. Th ere could be a genetic defect in one of the parents that should not be carried on to another generation.
63 Table 7 (Continued) References Examples Natural selection/selective pressures It is not evolutionary fair to people who have not been engineered. W hen selective pressures are placed on the body's flora by antibiotics, the ones that best tolerate them will survive, and ultimately multiply to fill the empty niches that were formerly occupied by those that were not so well adapted. Thus, next time the a ntibiotic is used, only those with were more resistant will be present and the drug may not work. Intelligence could be a way that nature weeds out the weak genetically. Well, if people can't reproduce, that's natural selection. But now we can get aroun d that with cloning. I love science, but there is a strong ethical side to this argument. Competition for survival The lack of competition alone will make the resistant strains stronger. Theme Four Change Responses that fell into this theme relate t o how populations of organisms change through time. Specific responses that were included in this theme referred to new traits or characteristics arising from mutations and genetic recombination resulting from sexual reproduction. Also included were respon ses relating to a change in the characteristics in a population of organisms due to either adaptations or deleterious changes. Speciation and extinction events were also included in this theme. Please refer to Table 8 for examples of responses related to c hange.
64 Table 8 References and examples for the Change theme Reference Example Faster generation time leads to faster evolution because they reproduce so rapidly it could take very little time for the disease to become more immune to the antibiotic. Mutations lead to change Cloning can disrupt this natural process and cause mutations, that can accumulate themselves, and cause debilitating consequences. also accumulate mutations which are deleterious. Sexual reproduction leads to different/new cha racteristics Sexual reproduction is the only reproduction humans are involved in. Given, it is more costly and it takes longer time to produce a set of offspring compared to asexual species, but it helps the humans to develop new c h aracteristics (long term !). Adaptations and/or deleterious changes/extinctions and/or just plain change/evolve If humans as a population are unable to adapt, they will eventually become extinct. All of the other genes would not exist anymore and these new engineered genes would be the equivalence of an "adaptation" resulting in the new human population. Overtime, people adapted to their environment and their intelligence changed overtime as well Stopping or preventing evolution If we produce clones, we are therefore putting a m omentary freeze on evolution. Change in a population, speciation, or extinction I would tell them that even though it may help in stopping the spread of the disease, there may be a horrible strain that arises from all the resistance and they might not be ready for it in time. That over time, if people employed this type of therapy, there would be no "bad" genes and there would be a race of 'intelligent' healthy humans, all the same.
65 Theme Five Misconceptions. Several misconceptions about evolution wer e , individuals evolve or adapt (instead of populations) Table 9 includes references and examples for this theme. Table 9 References and examples for the Misconceptions theme References Examples Changes occur on purpose well in ord er to evolve genes change to better adapt to the surroundings to make life easier. However evolution occurs when organisms need to change in order to survive and happens over generations. It shows that something can change its nature in order to make survi val better. Things are constantly evolving to survive. If we enhance intelligence using gene therapy we would be completely foiling evolution's plan. The gene pool is being altered and Mother Nature did not intend for that to happ en. Evolution toward being The point of natural selection is to create better and better individuals in a population By changing they are evolving to their success. Individuals evolve/adapt (rather than populations) your body is always evolvi ng and reacting to change. That as people came to different medical obstacles they adapt to different problems like infertility.
66 Theme Six Other Some participants mentioned other types of science content that was not explicitly tied to evolutionary the ory. These included genetics, immunology, physiology, animal behavior, the process of science, and physical science. Specific examples are given in Table 10. Table 10 References and examples for the Other Science theme Reference Examples Genetics I wou ld say that the alteration or deletion of one gene won't affect just one trait, but could potentially cascade and affect many others for better or for worse. No, because the clone's lifespan would have half of the adult's, because they have less telomeres telomeres are these little molecules at the end of spindle fiber in a cell which are lost little by little every time a cell divides. if you have a clone, it comes from a cell which has already undergone some division, and so the telomeres are less to be gin with (from my understanding). Immunology You must be aware though that antibiotics do not treat or kill viruses. I would explain to them how the immune system works, and how a body could become immune to an antibiotic through a biological standpoint Process of science Every cure for a disease has started as an experiment in animal models and then it has been tried on people with their consent. Look at Lucy. Successful cloning...then it died. If this process cannot be perfected with animals why atte mpt it with humans.
67 Table 10 (Continued) Reference Examples Physiology Now I don't know for sure, but one would probably expect that cloning would have a higher success rate because you don't have to hope that the egg in any method was fertilized since here it is only one set of genetic material so it is fertilized. You would just have to hope that the egg that is implanted is "accepted" in the uterus and starts to grow. The human is not a static organism. It is changing at all times to keep homeostasi s. If it gets use to something, they over time the thing in question will not effect it in the same way. It is a built in defense mechanism to keep the body healthy. Behavior It is biologically natural for a woman to want to have a child and if it is the same genetic material, why not? Non biology For anything that is set into motion, there is also an equal and opposite reaction. Depth of S cience C ontent U se rubric (see Tabl e 11) was created to measure the depth of use of evolutionary science content. Working together, the primary investigator and the biology expert used five transcripts to create an initial rubric. During this process, it was noted that some students would g ive a response utilizing a term but without explaining what the term meant. For
68 proper context. On the other hand, when asked the same question of another student, the Basically according to evolutionary theory, the one that is stronger and more fit than the rest will survive and will pass its genes on. Bacteria that have the resistance genes will responses, the original rubric contained separate sections for proper use of terminology and for accurate explanations. While a third section was created to distinguish between students who mentioned content related to evolution before the last question, which prompts them to do so. The terminology and explanation sections were ea ch scored on a scale of 1 (for misconceptions) to 3 (for use of multiple terminology or concepts) for an entire scenario, while evolution use was an extra point. Thus, with the initial rubric each scenario had a possible score range of 2 to 7. After creating the initial rubric, the primary investigator and biology expert independently scored an additional ten transcripts. During the independent scoring process, both the primary investigator and biology expert came to a similar conclusion that some par ticipants were giving multiple deep explanations throughout a single scenario. However, based on the initial rubric, this was worth the same three points as a participant who gave not so deep explanations in three separate places within a single scenario. Therefore, it was decided that scores for each explanation throughout a scenario would be added up so that the upper maximum had no set limit. In addition, with the initial rubric, participants who gave explanations using proper terminology were given a hi gher score due to the use of terminology. Because the intent of the SSI Q is to measure
69 depth of use of evolution concepts and not whether or not a student has an advanced vocabulary, it was agreed that the rubric could be simplified by merging the termino logy and explanation sections and awarding a single point for the use of terminology within the proper context but with no further explanation. Points for an explanation would be based on the number of different concepts accurately used regardless of the p resence of specific terminology. Responses with inaccurate explanations or ones that revealed a misconception resulted in the subtraction of a point from the overall score for each occurrence. Concepts that were repeated during a scenario did not receive a ny additional points. In order to establish that the rubric was conceptually sound and establish its consistency, a third researcher with expertise in SSI and biology was asked to examine the rubric and go over the scores of one to score five, randomly se lected transcripts with the primary investigator. Five transcripts was not a large enough number to calculate interrater reliability; however, a consensus was reached for all five transcripts, and it was determined that the rubric was an appropriate measur e of depth of content use during SSI below in Tables 11 15. The rubric in Table 11 was designed to be general enough to adapt to various SSI scenarios
70 Table 11 Socioscientific Issues Questionnaire rubric Score Explanation 1 Inaccurate explanation or reveals misconception 0 No explanation or explanation too vague to determine its accuracy 1 Explanation incorporates 1 concept or term 2 Explanation somewha t deeper by incorporating 2 concepts 3 Deep explanation incorporates 3 or more concepts +1 Add a point for use of evolutionary concepts before being prompted to do so Total The following three tables provide selected examples of scoring for each of the three scenarios. The first table (Table 12) details scores from the cloning scenario. A justification for each example is also provided
71 Table 12 Examples fro m Cloning Scenario Score Scenario question Example 1 Should individuals who want to carry and have their own children be able to choose cloning as a n option ? I am not sure if it would be a good idea, because the whole point of reproduction is to mix gen es and create a greater human population. ( Misconception that evolution has a ) 0 In what ways does the above scenario connect to evolutionary theory? In evolution you need a continuous flow of genes cons tantly changing. ( Meaning is unclear ) 1 How would you convince a friend or acquaintance of your position? Maybe there won't be as large of a gene pool one day and this could cause bad results in reproduction. ( Refers to genetic variation ) 2 Is there anyt hing else you might say to prove you are right? As stated above, genetic variation is the basis for natural selection. There must be a variance for selection to place pressure on. (Refers to variation and differential success ) 3 Using as much scientific e vidence as possible, how would you convince a friend or acquaintance of your position? Since the majority of people are able to reproduce, the use of so I feel like it might not have too great o f an effect on the gene pool of the population. Also there are many other organisms that reproduce asexually, in a similar manner to cloning. In addition, humans are not much different from the other organisms on Earth in the sense that reproducing and getting your genes into the next generation is (usually) an innately important event for which we strive. Cloning would be a way to achieve this when it is otherwise not possible. ( Refers to variation with respect to the gene pool and to asexual reproduct ion, inheritance of genes )
72 This next table shows specific examples of scoring from the intelligence scenario. An example with a justification is provided for each possible score. Note that the justifications for examples are similar to those in the Clonin g scenario. Table 13 Examples from Intelligence Scenario Score Scenario question Example 1 In what ways does the above scenario connect to evolutionary theory? well in order to evolve genes change to better adapt to the surroundings to make life eas ier. However evolution occurs when organisms need to change in order to survive, and happens over generations (Misconception ) 0 Can you think of an argument that could be ma de against the position that you have just described? Natural selection. ( Uses the correct buzzword, but no explanation ) 1 In what ways does the above scenario connect to evolutionary theory? Overall the populations will gravitate toward one of super inte lligence. ( Refers to change in a population over time ) 2 How could someone support that argument? If everyone were intelligent there would be no diversity in the genes. Eventually there would be a super intelligent population outshining the rest. ( Refers to genetic diversity and change in a population through time )
73 Table 13 (Continued) Score Scenario question Example 3 Using as much scientific evidence as possible, how would you convince a friend or acquaintance of your position? If natural selection acts on genes and their frequencies in a population, then they require certain things like variety and differential reproductive success to function properly. If genes are controlling some portion of intelligence, then natural selection should act on inte lligence just like any other trait. Thus, we need variety in the genes for intelligence among the human population. ( Refers to differential success, variation, differential success again ) Table 14 shows examples of scoring of responses from the antibioti cs scenario. Note the similarities between justifications for this scenario and the Cloning and Intelligence scenarios. Table 14 Examples from Antibiotics Scenario Score Scenario question Example 1 In what ways does the above scenario connect to evolut ionary theory? Your body is always evolving and reacting to change. themselves evolve it that is happens because they ) 0 In what ways does the above scenario connect to evolutionary theory? In terms of evolut ion, antibiotics will literally have no use because everyone's illnesses will eventually become resistant to every type of antibiotic. ( unclear )
74 Table 14 (Continued) Score Scenario question Example 1 Using as much scientific evidence as possible, how wo uld you convince a friend or acquaintance of your position? Even without antibiotics, bacteria would be evolving into harder to beat diseases. ( Refers to change over time ) 2 Using as much scientific evidence as possible, how would you convince a friend or acquaintance of your position? Since antibiotics are not always 100 % effective, some bacteria will survive and reproduce, passing antibiotic resistance on to their offspring. ( Refers to differential success and inheritance of traits ) 3 In what ways does the above scenario connect to evolutionary theory? This scenario is looking at adaptations that increase the organism's survival fitness. Those that survive the antibiotics can reproduce and pass on the trait that increases survivership, thus the resista nt strain. (Refers to differential success, inheritance of genes, and change (e.g., new strain)) Table 15 demonstrates how a depth score was made for an entire scenario. In this case, the cloning scenario was used. Subscores are given for participants the seven questions on the SSI Q. In addition, an extra point is given if the participant mentioned evolutionary content before the prompt question. The seven subscores and extra point, if applicable, are then summed up to give a tot al depth score for a scenario.
75 Table 15 Example of a depth score Scenario question Explanation Score Should individuals who want to carry and have their own children be able to choose cloning as a reproductive option? Why or wh y not? Yes, I believe that could be a choice that couples can make if they are unable to have children normally. No evolutionary science content 0 Using as much scientific evidence as possible, how would you convince a friend or acquaintance of your posit ion? I would say that if the couple was unable to have children any other way, and were mentally and financially able to support a child, then it should be allowed, although they should be made aware of the success rate that cloning has achieved thus far. No evolutionary science content 0 Can you think of an argument that could be made against the position that you have just described? Some would argue that it's morally wrong to allow reproductive cloning that is a couple couldn't have children naturally, then perhaps they shouldn't try as there might be something wrong with them physically that cloning themselves would only exacerbate the problem. Too vague to determine 0 How could someone support that argument? They could hypothesize that a couple that i s not 100% healthy that chooses reproductive cloning could being into the world a child that is unequally healthy Refers to inheritance of traits 1
76 Table 15 (Continued) Explanation Score If someone confronted you with that argu ment, what could you say in response? How would you defend your position against his/her argument? I would say that I would not support reproductive cloning if the parents were not healthy and disease free. If a couple was healthy, however, I would not see a problem. No evolutionary science content 0 Is there anything else you might say to prove you are right?
77 Research Question 2 The second research question, hat is the nature of the interaction between evolution understanding and evolution acceptance as they relate to depth of use of evolution content during SSI negotiation tested the hypothesis that the content is used during SSI negotiation. Answering this question required the evolution acceptance, and average depth of use of evolution content during negotiation of the three SSI scenarios. A multiple regression analysis was done using average depth of evolution content as the criterion variable and evolution understanding and evolution acceptance as the predictor variables, which are described in Chapter 4. In addition, these two variables were centered, and their product used as a third predictor variable so that the interaction effect between the two could be analyzed ( Jaccar d & Turrisi, 2003). Using this method to examine interaction effects in a multiple regression determined whether or not the effect of evolution understanding on depth of content use during SSI negotiation was mediated by evolution acceptance.
78 Summary This chapter described the methods that were used to explore the relationship between acceptance and understanding of evolutionary theory during SSI negotiation in ere analyzed to give a clear picture of science content used during SSI negotiation. It also the development of the SSI Q and how responses were scored to give a rating for depth of content use during SSI negotiation. Finally, the multiple regression metho d used to explore the relationship between depth of content use, evolution understanding, and evolution acceptance was described. The following chapter presents results on the types of science content and depth which was utilized used during SSI negotiatio n, descriptive statistics for evolution understanding and evolution acceptance, and an analysis of how understanding and acceptance interact to influence depth of evolution used during SSI negotiation.
79 C hapter 4 Introduction The purpose of this cha pter is to present the results of this study. Because the method for answering the first part of research question one involved an inductive data issues (SSI) negot iation is given in a descriptive manner. Results from the second part of research question one, ow deeply do students use science content during SSI negotiation are reported next. The method for answering the second research question was quantitative and the results are presented accordingly with descriptive statistics on evolution understanding and evolution acceptance, reported results from the multiple regression analysis, and the relationship between the variables, depth of content, evolution under standing, and evolution acceptance. RQ 1A: Science C ontent Evoked D uring SSI N egotiation W hat specific science content do college students each of the three scenarios: gene therapy for intelligence, reproductive cloning, and the use of preventative antibiotics. Science content found in each of the three scenarios fell into six themes. Four of the themes related specifically to evolutionary t heory (variation, inheritance of traits, differential success, and change through time), and a fifth was described as misconceptions related to evolution. The sixth theme was categorized as
80 scription of each theme is below. Please refer to Chapter Three ( pp. 56 61 ) for a fuller description. Four themes related to evolution were variation, inheritance, differential success, and change. The variation theme included acknowledgement that pheno typic and/or genetic variation exists in a population of organisms and/or is necessary for evolution to included references to the inheritance of traits or the passing of genes from parent(s) to offspring. Also included were responses that referred to the notion that not all traits are passed on because some are due to environmental effects (i.e. nature versus nurture) and general references to reproduction. Differential s uccess related to the concept that some individuals in a population are more successful than others at surviving and reproducing. Specific references include fitness, competition for survival, production of offspring (or inability to produce offspring ), and selective pressures, and natural selection. Responses that fell into the change theme relate to how populations of organisms change through time. Specific responses that were included in this theme referred to new traits or characteristics arising from mutations and genetic recombination resulting from sexual reproduction. Also included were responses relating to a change in the characteristics in a population of organisms due to either adaptations or deleterious changes. Speciation and extinction event s were also included in this theme. responses, a separate theme for misconceptions was made. These included that evolution ution has a plan or goal toward
81 populations). Finally, a theme for other science content i ncluded genetics, immunology, physiology, animal behavior, the process of sc ience, and physical science. The SSI Q first asked participants for their reason for or against the issues presented in the scenario. Next, they were asked to give a potential counterargument, followed by a rebuttal to that counterargument. Due to the orde r of the questions, results issue), counterargument, and supporting or additional evidence f or their main argument (rebuttal). The SSI Q also asked participants to relate the scenario to evolution. In cases where responses recapitulated a prior response, results are incorporated with that. Responses that revealed a misconception are reported with other misconceptions. Participants used science based ideas in each of these three major ways; however, there were differences in how each was expressed due to the situation specific nature of each scenario. For that reason, the descriptions of content evoked during SSI negotiation are given by scenario. Cloning S cenario T he cloning scenario ( see Appendix A ) asked participants if they felt that infertile couples should be allowed to utilize reproductive cloning if that technology were available. Science content employed during negotiation of this scenario was used in a vari ety of ways: as a main argument against cloning, a main argument in favor of cloning, a counterargument, and as support for an argument. The content fell into each of the six themes and is described in further detail below and in Table 16.
82 Variation Con tent within this theme was used as a main argument against reproductive cloning or as support to a possible counterargument. It was not used as a main argument for cloning or as supporting evidence for a main argument. The most common main argument was aga inst reproductive cloning with the claim that as a form of asexual reproduction, its widespread use would decrease genetic variation within the human population. However, some students counter argued that this would not be the case, while others used the counter argument that cloning is not unnatural because asexual reproduction occurs in nature. Please see Table 16 for specific examples of how Inheritance Participants used science co ntent related to inheritance as a main argument against reproductive cloning, a main argument for it, or as a potential counter argument. It was not used as supporting evidence for a main argument. Science content within this theme related to cloned offspr ing being identical to the parent. In many cases this was used as an argument against reproductive cloning because of the potential to perpetuate undesirable or deleterious traits. Others used inheritance of traits as an argument in favor of reproductive c loning because it gives a person an opportunity to during the reproductive cloning scenario. Differential S uccess The notion of differential success was used as a main a rgument or in support of a main argument against reproductive cloning. It was not used to argue in favor of reproductive cloning. The majority of content that fell into this theme related to the idea that people who are sterile have zero reproductive fitne ss and that reproductive cloning would interfere with natural selection. In other cases, students used
83 the content related to differential success as part of other points in their argument Please d this theme during the reproductive cloning scenario. Change The notion of change in a population over time was only used as a main argument against reproductive cloning or as supporting evidence against it. Content related to change in a population th rough time was used to argue against reproductive cloning based on the notion that widespread use of this technology would greatly reduce the rate at which human evolution occurs. There were also cases where the concept of change in a population through ti me (evolution) was used in a broader context to support the reproductive cloning scenario. Table 16 cloning scenario Theme Main argument against cloning Counterargument Main argument for cloning Support for an argument Variation No. The offspring would then have the same genetic material of one of the parents which would decrease the genetic variation and not be beneficial to the population. It wouldn't be going against nature because nature has asexual reproduction so it is relatively the same things just humans doing it.
84 Table 16 (Continued) Theme Main argument against cloni ng Counterargument Main argument for cloning Support for an argument Inheritance A couple that is not 100% healthy that chooses reproductive cloning could bring into the world a child that is unequally healthy There could be a genetic defect in one of th e parents that should not be carried on to another generation. An argument would be that couples who can't have children naturally have an option to continue to pass on their genes (although not combined genes with the partner's genes offspr ing.) In this way his/her genes are not lost. Having children spreads your genes and in turn furthers your evolutionary history.
85 Table 16 (Continued) Theme Main argument against cloning Counterargument Main argument for cloning Sup port for an argument Differential success Cloning could also be considered interfering with natural selection (and thus evolution), be adding another set of genes to the population on their own. Well, if peo ple can't reproduce, that's natural selection. But now we can get around that with cloning. I love science, but there is a strong ethical side to this argument. genes to survive well enough, they can pass on their same exact genes th rough their clone but this would result in a bottleneck effect where the variation in genes of a population will drastically lower if enough people clone themselves instead of reproducing.
86 Table 16 (Continued) Theme Main argument against cloning Counterargument Main arg ument for cloning Support for an argument Change This would not allow the population to evolve as rapidly because the same genes would just be repeated over and over again. If enough people do this, the human population will take a halt in diversity and t he whole population would virtually stay the same If a group of humans are unable to reproduce and instead they just clone themselves, then that group will never again be able to proceed with evolution If everyone just cloned instead of reproducing natural ly evolution
87 Misconceptions In some cases, students revealed misconceptions regarding evolution. Misconceptions fell into two categories. The first was that asexually reproducing populations do not evolve, a nd the other was that evolution has some sense of purpose or design. Examples of misconceptions for all scenarios can be found in Table 19. Other S cience C ontent Science content not explicitly related to evolutionary concepts w as occasionally used to supp ort an argument. In all instances, these were related to some aspect of genetics. Sometimes this included the notion of dominant and recessive genes. Other times it included inbreeding or a general knowledge of reproduction. Several students argued against reproductive cloning based on molecular genetics evidence regarding telomeres or in favor of based on the concept of nature vs. nurture. Examples of how other science content was used in this scenario are found in Table 20. Intelligence S cenario The int elligence scenario ( see Appendix A ) asked participants if scientists were able to isolate a single gene that contributes to intelligence, did they feel that gene therapy for intelligence should be allowed. Responses fell into each of the six themes and are described in further detail below and in Table 17. Variation This theme was used most commonly as a main argument against gene therapy for human intelligence or as supporting evidence for a potential counterargument. Many students argued against gene t herapy claiming that it would reduce genetic variation within the human population or alter the gene pool. However, some students
88 counter argued this by considering mutations as a source of genetic variation. Specific examples are given in Table 17. Inhe ritance This theme was not as commonly used when negotiating the intelligence scenario. In those instances in which it was used, it was to point out that germ line gene therapy would affect future generations. Please see Table 17 for specific examples. Differential S uccess This theme was used as a main argument by some participants to argue against gene therapy for intelligence and by others to argue in favor of it. In addition, it was used by many participants as support for a main argument. Please see Table 17 for specific examples. Chang e. Some participants used this theme as a main argument in favor of gene therapy for intelligence claiming that it would change the frequency of intelligent people in the human population. However, in most cases this argument was used against gene therapy for intelligence because it could potentially marginalize those who did not receive it enough to cause a speciation event. Other students argued that if an intelligence gene were beneficial for survival there would a lready be a selective pressure for that gene and a change in the population would occur anyway. Specific examples are given in Table 17.
89 Table 17 Theme Main argument agains t gene therapy Counterargument Main argument for gene therapy Support for an argument Variation If everyone were intelligent there would be no diversity in the genes We need the variety in intelligence to maintain the diversity of the human population. if our human population all contained genes for increased intelligence, there would be less variety in the population. Perhaps this can give rise to mutations in that gene that can increase intelligence even more, so it has the potential of increasing g enetic diversity even though you are changing it to some specific gene.
90 Table 17 (Continued) Theme Main argument against gene therapy Counterargument Main argument for gene therapy Support for an argument Inheritance
91 Table 17 (Continued) Theme Main argument against gene therapy Counterargument Main argument for gene therapy Support for an argument Change Eventually there would be a super intelligent population outshining the rest. Indigenous people would not benefit and become more marginalized. They would become a different species eventually if they didn't integrate into modern society.
92 Misconceptions The majority of misconceptions that emerged from the data either related to the notion that there is a purpose or plan behind evolu tion or interesting response was one student who used evolutionary concepts to argue against gene therapy by stating: No, because we don't need smarter criminals and terrorist in thi s world. It could also potentially screw up the whole competition for better jobs. Survival of the fittest/smartest. When asked how the scenario relates to evolutionary theory, this same student It doesn't sibility that a person can utilize evolutionary concepts without even realizing it. Examples of misconceptions for all scenarios can be found in Table 19. Other S cience C ontent Some students used other science content not explicitly connected to evoluti on to support an argument. Like the cloning scenario, this use of content was related to genetics. In some instances it was related to pleiotropy, where a single gene can have multiple effects on the body. In other instances the use of content was relate d to genetic linkage. Other genetics concepts included polygenic traits (where multiple genes contribute to a single trait) and the notion of nature vs. nurture. Examples of how other science content was used in this scenario are found in Table 20.
93 Pr eventative A ntibiotics S cenario The preventative antibiotics scenario ( see Appendix A) asked participants for their opinion on the use of preventative antibiotics. As with the other two scenarios, science content used during negotiation of this one fell in to each of the six themes and was used as either a main argument against the use of preventative antibiotics or as supporting evidence for the main argument as described below and in Table 18. Variation Variation was not a very commonly used theme, and in all instances was only used as support for a main argument rather than the main argument itself. The instances where content was used referred to sources of genetic variation, such as mutations, or in reference to variation within a population. Examples occur in Table 18. Inheritance Like variation, content related to inheritance was only used to enhance or support a main argument rather than as a stand alone main argument. Please see Table 18 for specific examples. Differential S uccess The concept o f differential success was the most commonly used theme in this scenario. Most used content within this theme to argue that the use of antibiotics creates an environment that allows only resistant bacteria to survive. However, the concept of differential success was also used to argue that antibiotics should not be used because they cause systems to weaken due to a lack of selective pressure. Table 18 contains examples.
94 Change Like the differential success theme, that of change in a popu lation through time was also commonly used for this scenario as a main argument against the use of preventative antibiotics. In almost every case this referred to the development of an antibiotic resistant strain of bacteria. Please see Table 18 for speci fic examples. Table 18 antibiotics scenario Theme Main argument against preventative antibiotics Support for an argument Variation
95 Table 1 8 (Continued) Theme Main argument against preventative antibiotics Support for an argument Differential success When selective pressures are placed on the body's flora by antibiot ics, the ones that best tolerate them will survive, and ultimately multiply to fill the empty niches that were formerly occupied by those that were not so well adapted. Weeding out individuals with weak immune systems will only leave the fittest to reprodu ce, thus it will improve our population rather than keeping those who are weak alive in order to reproduce and increase their chances to be susceptible to disease.
96 Misconceptions There were two types of misconceptions revealed by desire or need. The second type of misconception was that individuals evolve (as oppos ed to populations evolving). Please see Table 19 for examples. Other S cience C oncepts There was a wider variety of other science concepts used by participants for this scenario than for the cloning and intelligence scenarios. Some participants mentioned prokaryotic genetics, while others used immunology content by differentiating between viruses and bacteria and how antibiotics are not effective with viruses. Still others used biochemistry. Finally, some students made reference to the process of science o Misconceptions As mentioned during the descriptions of science content used for SSI negotiation f or each of the three scenarios, misconceptions were revealed by nearly one third of the participants These misconceptions fell into four categories: that asexually reproducing populations do not evolve, that there is a purpose or design to evolution, that adaptations s, evolve. While the number of misconceptions was equally distributed among the three scenarios, n one of these categories appeared in all three scenarios. The misconception that asexually reproducing populations do not evolve was only noted in responses to the scenario. That there was a purpose or design to evolution was noted in responses to the cloning and gene therapy for intelligence scenarios. The misconception t hat adaptations arise out of a need or desire emerged from the gene therapy for intelligenc e and
97 preventative antibiotics scenarios, while the misconception that individuals, rather than populations, evolve was only noted in the preventative antibiotics scenario. Please see Table 19 for examples. Table 19 Misconceptions for all scenarios Scena rio Asexually reproducing populations do not evolve Purpose or design to evolution Adaptations arise from an or need Individuals evolve Cloning It bypasses any form of selection since there is no assortment or even partner. It is asexu al reproduction. Evolution as far as natural selection goes has built in mechanisms which is why people may not be able to have children in the first place The whole point of reproduction is to mix genes and create a greater human population If it were a f avorable option for natural selection, it would have already occurred. It has not for a reason < no examples> < no examples>
98 Table 19 (Continued) Scenario Asexually reproducing populations do not evolve Purpose or design to evolution Adaptations arise f rom an or need Individuals evolve Intelligence < no examples> Intelligence could be a way that nature weeds out the weak genetically. If we enhance intelligence using gene therapy we would be completely foiling evolution's plan The ge ne pool is being altered and Mother Nature did not intend for that to happen. The point of natural selection is to create better and better individuals in a population Well in order to evolve genes change to better adapt to the surroundings to make lif e easier. However evolution occurs when organisms need to change in order to survive, and happens over generations. < no examples>
99 Table 19 (Continued) Scenario Asexually reproducing populations do not evolve Purpose or design to evolution Adaptations arise from an or need Individuals evolve Antibiotics < no examples> < no examples> Bacteria and diseases have the ability to evolve and protect themselves from us killing them to ensure the future of their existence. It shows that som ething can change its nature in order to make survival better. The human body is not a static thing. It is always evolving and changing and that is how the body becomes immune to the antibiotics, via evolution
100 Other Science C ontent Table 20 shows examples of science content not directly related to evolution. In the reproductive cloning and gene therapy for intelligence scenarios all science content not directly related to evolution was related to some aspect of genetics. The antibiotics scenario, on the other hand, contained a greater variety of responses with non evolution science content. This is not surprising given that reproductive cloning and gene therapy are types of biotechnology, while the issue of the use of preventative antibiotics is mo re of a medical issue. Table 20 Science content other than evolutionary topics utilized during SSI negotiation Topic Subtopic Example Scenario Genetics Dominant and recessive genes I would say that there is no genetic combination and if the father h ad a genetic disease then it passed on to his child, but if there was a reproduction, then it would result to a recessive allele which could not express the disease if the gene was dominant. Cloning Inbreeding Look at inbreeding. The more closely relate d two people are, the higher the chance for genetic mutations and complications for the offspring. Cloning General reproduction I would respond in saying that cloning, parthenogenesis, and hermaphroditism is present in many species and works successfully for them. Cloning
101 Table 20 (Continued) Topic Subtopic Example Scenario Genetics Telomeres Telomeres are these little molecules at the end of spindle fiber in a cell which are lost little by little every time a cell divides. If you have a clone, it come s from a cell which has already undergone some division, and so the telomeres are less to begin with (from my understanding). Cloning Nature vs nurture If the parents really want to raise their own children and this is the only way possible, there are ot her factors that relate to the development of a human child. Environmental factors play a huge role in the personality, experiences, and knowledge of an individual. Thus, even though the child may look identical to a parent, its personality could be quite different. And its experiences would be as well. Cloning This scenario connects to evolutionary theory via the nature versus nurture argument. One side argues that it is solely the genes that result in an organism being what it is, while the other side argues that it is the environment that shapes an organism. In this scenario, the hypothesis is that changing a gene would make potential offspring smarter, but I believe it will not work unless changes are made to the environment as well. Intelligence
102 Ta ble 20 (Continued) Topic Subtopic Example Scenario Genetics Pleiotropy If we took that particular gene away, would it affect something else? Intelligence Genetic linkage other important genes that w Deletion of these genes may then be detrimental to the health of the individual or create unforeseen problems. Intelligence Polygenic traits It is one thing to be able to change eye color; we have isolated all the genes responsible for e ye color; but intelligence is a multi faceted abstract thing that arises not just from one gene, but from many Intelligence Prokaryotic genetics resistance of Staph aureus was obtained via lateral gene transfer from Enterococcus faecalis Bacteria can pa ss genes even between species which means that these resistance genes could ultimately make antibiotics useless anyway Antibiotics Immunology And while they
103 Table 20 (Continued) Topic Subtopic Example Scenario Process of science The argumen t should be supported with an experiment where a group of patients with compromised immune system are given antibiotic and another group is not given antibiotics. Other factors such as race, gender, age should be similar. Comparing the outcome and repeatin g the study successfully with the same results, someone could support his/her argument. But from a scientist's standpoint, just because it hasn't happened does not rule out the fact that it is theoretically possible Antibiotics These results describ e the types of science content utilized during SSI negotiation. This next section describes how deeply the content was utilized.
104 RQ 1B: Depth of Evolutionary Science Content Reflected in SSI N egotiation W hat is the depth o f the evolution ary science content assessed using the rubric described in Chapter Three for 59 participants. Scores ranged from 0.67 6.00 with a mean score of 2.22 ( SD = 1.85). This distribution approached normal (skewness = 0.64; kurtosis = 0.63); however it did not meet the Shapiro Wilk test for normalcy (W = .9222; p = .0012). Descriptive data are also presented in Table 21 When looking for differences in depth of evolution content between the three scenarios, there was no significant difference between the means of each type of scenario F (2, 104) = .86, p = .4244. A repeated measures analysis showed no significant first to second to third scenario addressed, regardless of the order of specific scenarios F (2, 104) = 2.42, p = .0935. RQ 2: Depth of Content U se, Understanding and A cceptance of E volution W hat is the nature of the interactio n between evolution understanding and evolution acceptance as they relate to depth of use of evolution understanding and acceptance and performing multiple regression analy ses. In addition to reporting results from the multiple regression analyses, results for evolution understanding and evolution acceptance are reported as well as correlations between those and depth of content.
105 Evolution U nderstanding A total of 52 pa rticipants completed the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS: Anderson, Fisher, & Norman, 2002) assessment for evolution understanding. The mean score on a scale of 0 20 was a 13.61. Scores ranged from 4 20 with a standard deviation of 4.19 The distribution appeared normal with a skewness of 0.49 and a kurtosis of 0.21. A Shapiro Wilk test for normalcy confirmed this (W = .9596, p = .0752). Descriptive data are also presented in Table 21 Evolution A cceptance A total of 52 participants completed the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE: Rutledge & Warden, 1999) assessment of evolution acceptance. Scores ranged from 44 100 with a mean score of 85.21 ( SD = 13.24). The distribution was skewed (skewness = 1.05) and platy kurtotic or flat (kurtosis = 1.04) and did not meet the Shapiro Wilk test for normalcy (W = .9007; p = .0004). Descriptive data are also presented in Table 21
106 Table 21 Descriptive data for the variables Depth, Understanding, and Acceptance Depth of evolution content Evolution understanding Evolution acceptance Number 59 53 52 Mean 2.22 13.38 85.21 Standard deviation 1.85 4.16 13.24 Skewness 0.64 0.47 1.05 Kurtosis 0.63 0.18 1.04 W (p) .9222 (.0012) .9610 (.0816) .9007 (.0004) Note: W = Shapiro Wilk test for Normalcy Relationship B etween the V ariables Scatterplots of each variable (depth, understanding, and acceptance) were examined for bivariate outliers or nonlinear relationships, and none w as found. Consequently, all data were used in the analysis and their relationships summarized using correlations, which are presented in Table 22 All relationships were positive. The correlation coefficient r, for depth of content and evolution understanding was .6 8 (p = .0163), which indicates a s trong, significant correlation between the two variables. While statistically significant, the correlation coefficient between depth of content and acceptance of evolution is not quite as strong ( r = .4 4 ; p <. 0001)
107 The data were also examined to determine the extent, if any, of the correlation between whether or not a participant used evolutionary content without prompting and evolution understanding and acceptance. A positive correlation was found for evolution use and evolution understanding (r = .4037, p = .0030); however there was no significant correlation between evolution use and evolution acceptance (r = .1404; p = .3208). T his correlation alone does not imply a causal effect though it seem ed reasonable to surmise that understanding evolution would have been a prerequisite to using its content to negotiate an SSI. The lack of a correlation between evolution use and evolution acceptance is notable because it raised a couple of possibilities. The fi rst possible explanation was that a lack of acceptanc the evolution content, and the second possible explanation was that the individual was not aware that the concepts being utilized were related to evolution. Table 22 Correlations between variables us ed in this study Depth Understanding Acceptance Depth 1.0 Understanding 0.6768 (p = .0163) 1.0 Acceptance 0.4377 (p <.0001) 0.4774 (p = .0003) 1.0
1 08 Multiple Regression A multiple regression analysis is only meaningful if certain assumptions a re met. These include a linear relationship between variables, homoscedascity (homogeneity of variance), and normal distribution of the residuals (predicted minus observed values). An examination of scatterplots revealed linear relationships among the vari ables. In order to examine the homoscedasticity assumption, the residuals were plotted with the predicted values. This assumption did not appear to be violated, and the residuals were normally distributed (sk = 0.06, ku = 0.05). Outliers were screened for using studentized residuals 0 .16, respectively, indicating that none of the data points were having an undue influence on the regression analysis. Based on the screening of the data, it appeared appropri ate to proceed with the multiple regression analysis. The multiple regression analysis predicting depth of use of evolution science content from the predictor variables, evolution understanding and evolution acceptance gave an R 2 value of .452 This sugge sts that a bout 45% of the variance in depth of use of evolution content is account ed for by the predictors, understanding and acceptance of evolution Further studies are needed to determine what other types of variables might account for the remainder of the variance. effect size f 2 = R 2 /(1 R 2 ) was computed to be .82, which can be for multiple regression (.02 small, .15 medium, .35 large). This indicates that the R 2 value of .4 52 is of practical significance and explains how statistical significance was achieved even with the small sample used in this study.
109 The regression coefficient for understanding was statistically significant (t = 5.13, p < .0001), while the regression co efficient for acceptance was not (t = 1.21, p = .2306). The prediction equation was: Depth = 2.815 + .2534(understanding) + .0188 (acceptance) With this equation, if both evolution understanding and evolution acceptance were equal to zero, then we would expect depth of content use to equal 2.8. This negative number evolution and few, if any, accurate uses of evolution content. This equation also indicates that for e very increased point in evolution understanding score, depth would be predicted to increase by .25, assuming acceptance was held constant. To get a further sense of the contribution of each predictor variable, standardized regression coefficients were ca lculated. Values of .6072 and .1438 were obtained for understanding and acceptance, respectively. This indicated that one standard deviation change in understanding leads to .6072 standard deviation change in predicted depth of content use if holding accep tance constant. In other words, for two people who equally accept evolution, the one who understands evolution a standard deviation more than the other will also utilize evolution content .6072 of a standard deviation deeper. Likewise, one standard deviati on change in acceptance leads to .1438 standard deviation change in predicted depth of content use if holding understanding constant. Thus, for two people who understand evolution equally, the one with a standard deviation greater acceptance will utilize e volution content .1438 of a standard deviation more deeply.
110 Interaction B etween U nderstanding and A cceptance As described in Chapter Three, interaction between the predictor variables was tested for by creating an interaction variable and adding that as a predictor variable in a multiple regression analysis. The adjusted R 2 value was .500, suggesting about 50% of the variance in depth of use of evolution content is account ed f or by the predictors, understanding and acceptance of evolution and the interac tion variable. This adjusted R 2 was significantly larger than that from the multiple regression analysis without an interaction variable, and the regression coefficient for the interaction variable was statistically significant ( 2 = .048; t = 2.38, p = .0215). This indicated a bilinear interaction between understanding and acceptance of evolution and supported the hypothesis that evolution content is evok ed during SSI negotiation. size f 2 = R 2 /(1 R 2 ) was computed to be .98, which can be medium, .35 large). This indicate d that the results may be o f great practical si gnificance to science educators and that the interaction between and evolution understanding may play a greater role in SSI negotiation than previously realized. The regression coefficient for understanding remained statistically significant (t = 5.76, p < .0001), and the regression coefficient for acceptance remained not significant (t = 1.72, p = .0918). The prediction equation was: Depth = 3 99 + .2 8 (understanding) + .0 3 (acceptance) + .0 1 (U*A)
111 The st rength of the interaction effect was calculated by taking the difference between the R 2 values for the regression analyses with and without the interaction variable. This yields .499 .452 = .047, indicating that the interaction effect accounts for 4.7% o f the variance in depth of evolution science content used during negotiation of the three SSI scenarios. To give a better sense of how the depth of content use change d depending on the value of evolution acceptance, the simple effect for predicting depth f rom understanding was calculated from three different values of acceptance: the lowest (44), the mean (85) and highest (100) obtained from the sample. The three intercepts obtained were 2.854, 1. 398 and 1. 78 8 respectively. Please also see Figure 3. Figure 3 Slopes of how depth of content use changed depending on evolution acceptance 2.854 2.146 7.146 12.146 17.146 0 10 20 Depth of content use Evolution understanding High acceptance Average acceptance Low acceptance
112 Summary Science content involved in SSI negotiation included four themes related to evolution : variation in a population, inheritance of traits, differential s uccess, and change through time. A fifth theme included misconceptions about evolution, and a sixth included other science not explicitly tied to evolution. Content representing each of the six themes was found in each of the three scenarios. The majority of students used some evolutionary science content when negotiating the SSI scenarios ; however this was not often done to any great depth ( range 0.67 6.0; mean = 2.22) Results from the multiple regression analysis testing for interaction effects indic ate that acceptance of evolution is a mitigating factor in how deeply one utilizes evolution content when negotiating SSI The interaction accounts for 4.7% of the variance in depth of evolution science content so that the degree to which one who accepts evolution is likely to use evolution concepts to a greater extent depends on evolution understanding. The difference between those who are high and low on acceptance is small when understanding is low, but becomes more pronounced as evolution understanding increases.
113 C hapter 5 Introduction The purpose of this study is to explore science content used during college based socioscientific issues (SSI) and to examine how evolution based content relate s ual understanding and acceptance of biological evolution. This chapter first discusses the use of science content during SSI negotiation, specifically the prevalence of content related to evolution, how content varies by the context of the scenario, and th about biological evolution. Next, the depth of evolution content and its relation to evolution understanding and acceptance are discussed. The chapter closes with a discussion of implications for (1) the sociosc ientific issues questionnaire developed in this study and any further studies on scientific literacy, (2) science educators who use SSI as part of their research, and (3) SSI in teaching and learning. Use of S cience Content During SSI N egotiation Preval ence of E volution Most of the participants in this study brought science content into their negotiation of each of the socioscientific issues, and much of the content fell into themes related to aspects of evolution: variation within a population, inherita nce of traits from parent to offspring, differential success at survival and reproduction, and changes in populations over time. Though the data w ere analyzed in an inductive manner with no a
114 priori assumptions regarding specific themes, the emergent theme s are, nevertheless, the scenarios used in this study w as selected for its potential to utilize evolution science content, the fact that it was the dominant content used in all three scenarios is consistent with claims made by leading national organizations, such as the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA, 2003), National Academy of Sciences (NAS, 1998), National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT statement on t eaching evolution located at http://nabt.org/sites/S1/index.php?p=65) and the National Research Council (NRC, 1996) that evolution is the central unifying principle of biology and that understanding it is essential to scientific literacy. Variation b y C ontext While each of the themes occurred in all three SSI scenarios, there were variations in how each theme was utilized due to the situation specific nature of each scenario. This is not surprising since other studies using multiple SSI scenarios have found variation of other factors between scenarios. Sadler (2005) made a similar observation while studying informal reasoning, as did Fowler and Amiri (2007) while studying moral sensitivity. For example, the theme, variation was used in both the re productive cloning and gene therapy for intelligence scenarios as a main argument against cloning and gene therapy because they could potentially decrease genetic variation in the human population. The preventative antibiotic scenario, on the other hand, d id not use the concept of variation as a main argument. Instead, that concept was used more as support for an argument. The inheritance theme was used as an argument against cloning because
115 of the potential for a parent to pass undesirable traits on to his or her offspring, thus perpetuating the existence of that trait. Others used inheritance to argue for cloning claiming that it gives people an opportunity to contribute to the human gene pool. Meanwhile, the concept of inheritance was used as a supportin g argument, either for or against gene therapy, with the claim that the manipulated gene would then be passed on to future generations and have a lasting effect on the human population. Content related to inheritance was used to enhance an argument rather than as a stand alone argument in theme was perhaps the most varied among the three scenarios. In the cloning scenario the predominant notion was that those who ne ed this technology in order to reproduce have zero reproductive fitness and that cloning them would be contrary to natural selection. With the intelligence scenario the argument was that gene therapy would raise overall fitness of the population. With the preventative antibiotics scenario, the major use of the differential success theme was to argue against antibiotics because they create selective pressures favorable for resistant bacteria. Change through time was used in the cloning scenario to argue aga inst it based on the notion that widespread use would reduce the rate of human evolution. Meanwhile, the intelligence and preventative antibiotics scenarios utilized this theme to argue that gene therapy and antibiotics could cause a speciation event. Dri ver, Newton, and Osborne (2000) promote the practice of argumentation in the science classroom with the claim that doing so will help students develop conceptual understanding of science content. It is not known whether or not participants in this study ha ve had explicit exposure to argumentation techniques because that data was not
116 collected for this study. H owever that participants were able to argue using the same conceptual ideas in different contexts indicates some capability for argumentation and th is occurred with both biology and non biology majors It is possible that at least some of the participants practiced informal classroom argumentation while taking prior coursework. Further study is needed to determine whether or not some students acquire this capability from a deep exposure to science without explicit exposure to argumentation such as that possibly experienced by biology majors. Misconceptions R evealed Misconceptions about evolution are often placed into one of two categories, those r elated to misunderstanding of nature of science and those related to misunderstanding the science content. Results from this study revealed several misconceptions regarding evolution, which included the following: asexually reproducing populations do not e volve; adaptations arise from a desire or need for change; there is a purpose or plan driving evolution; and individuals, rather than populations, evolve. The last three misconceptions are commonly reported in the literature (e.g. Anderson, Fischer, & Norm an, 2002; Nehm & Schonfeld, 2008; Sadler, 2005); however the first, that asexually reproducing populations do not evolve, is not commonly reported. In fact, that misconception might have been entirely missed in this study had the reproductive cloning scena rio not been used, because it was not revealed during the other scenario s The misconception that evolution is driven by some purpose or design occurred (2005) findings u sing the same scenarios. The notion that adaptations can occur from a
117 need or desire that an individual organism may have was noted in the intelligence and preventative antibiotics scenarios. Finally, the misconception that individuals rather than populat ions, evolve was found in the preventative antibiotics scenario, but not the other two scenarios. While these results are not surprising, they do show that the SSI Q has the about evolution in future studies. Since no two scenarios revealed the exact same set of misconceptions, future studies may benefit from creating a modification of the SSI Q using a different set of SSI scenarios. Doing this may reveal other misconceptions as of yet not commonly found in the literature. Use of N on evolution Science C ontent Other science content not explicitly related to evolution also varied by scenario. In virtually every instance, other science content was used as support or explanat ion for an argument rather than the main argument itself. The majority of the content in the reproductive cloning and gene therapy for intelligence scenarios was related to molecular genetics while the preventative antibiotics scenario generated a richer variety of science content. This is not surprising given that the reproductive cloning and gene therapy for intelligence scenarios were related to biotechnology, while the preventative antibiotics scenario is related to medicine. The interesting part of th is result is that while specific content may vary by scenario, content related to evolution remains fairly consistent. This is consistent with the claim that evolution is the central unifying principle of biology and
118 that understanding it is essential to s cientific literacy (NSTA, 2003; NAS, 1998; NRC, 1996). Depth of C ontent U se, E volution U nderstanding, and A cceptance Relationship Between E volution U nderstanding and A cceptance Results from this study indicate a medium correlation between evolution understanding and acceptance. This is consistent with Dedniz, Donnelly, and Yilmaz (2008) who also found a correlation between evolution understanding and acceptance. The authors of that study also found that those who scored higher on an open mindedness s cale were more open to accepting evolution. Similar to that, Ingram and Nelson (2006) found that students who held no strong opinion about whether or not to accept evolution were decidedly more accepting of evolution after taking a course on evolution. In contrast, Sinatra, Southerland, McConaughy, and Demastes (2003) did not find a correlation between evolution understanding and acceptance. Their conclusion was that knowledge must reach a critical level before it can influence acceptance. This could accoun t for the inconsistencies found in the literature because researchers sampling non majors or first year majors will not note a correlation to the extent of researchers sampling from students with upper level biology coursework. In light of these prior s tudies, results from this current study are not surprising T hey may be explained by the fact that all of the participants in this study were upper level students, and many were biology majors in their last semester of coursework T hose who could potential ly come to accept evolution based on gains in understanding it would have already done so. In other words, results from this study open the possibility of a
119 threshold of understanding evolution content that must be reached before people will accept it. Ind eed, Sadler and Donnelly (2006) and Sadler and Fowler (2006) found a nonlinear relationship between content knowledge and argumentation quality, which can, raise the p ossibility that a similar relationship may exist between content understanding and depth of content use during SSI negotiation. However, this raises the question of how can evolution understanding reach a critical level without evolution acceptance? In oth er words, can those who adamantly do not accept evolution reach a high enough level of evolution understanding to effectively use the content during SSI negotiation? Further studies are needed to determine which pedagogical techniques may be effective in e ncouraging a deep evolution understanding among those who do not accept it. Evolution A cceptance an d SSI N egotiation Results from this study support the hypothesis that of evolution is a mitigating factor in how evolut ion content is utilized during SSI negotiation. In other words, g iven equal understanding of evolution, one who also accepts it is more likely to use content related to evolution during SSI negotiation. This is more evident when evolution understanding is high then when it is low. The literature suggests that informal reasoning involved with SSI negotiation contains affective patterns in addition to the rationalistic pattern (Sadler & Zeidler, 2004). Given the link between strong religious beliefs and acce ptance of evolution, it is reasonable to consider acceptance an affective quality. The Sadler & Zeidler (2004) study
120 Other studies of argumentation within a science c lassroom context typically examine the (Erduran, Simon, & Osborne, 2004). Rather than look at argumentation patterns, which can incorporate the use of evidence from m any types of sources, this current study specifically examined whether or not and to what extent evolutionary science content was utilized to negotiate SSI. The overall depth of use of evolutionary science content ranged from .67 to 6.00. That the lowes t score was a negative number suggests that the participant made little attempt to utilize content during SSI negotiation, and the small attempt that was made was done with inaccurate use of content. The distribution of the depth scores was slightly positi vely skewed. This indicates that most scores were on the low end of the scale, while the higher scores were made by fewer participants. Clearly, many students are not utilizing science content during SSI negotiation to the fullest extent possible. Possible reasons for this are discussed in the implications section beginning on page 12 1 of this chapter. The tendency to utilize evolution content during SSI negotiation without being prompted to do so was correlated with evolution understanding but not with acceptance of evolution. At first blush this might seem contradictory to the finding that acceptance is a mitigating factor in depth of use of content during SSI negotiation. However, this, too, is understandable once one considers the possibility tha t some may readily accept concepts related to evolution as long as the word is not mentioned. This possibility is highlighted in this study when at least one participant used the concept of differential success to argue vigorously against gene therapy then later claimed that the
121 scenario had nothing to do with evolution. Further study on the effects of using the word Implications SSI Q and S cientific L iteracy As described in Chapter O ne ( page 2 ), one definition of a scientifically literate person is one who uses science content knowledge to make informed de cisions either personally or socially, about topics or issues that have a connection with science. The Socioscientific Issues Questionnaire (SSI Q) developed as p art of this study is a measure of the depth to which one utilizes evolution science content during SSI negotiation. While this does not directly measure scientific literacy, there exists the possibility of using a modified version to tap in to at least tha t part of scientific literacy defined by the use of science content to make an informed decision. This could be done by broadening the depth of science content from that only related to evolution to include all science content. Though the presence of other science content was minimal in the SSI scenarios used for this study, it is quite feasible that other SSI scenarios may tap in to a broader range of science content. A reformed version of the SSI Q could also assess the way in which science content is use d, such as whether or not it is used as a main argument or a counter argument for or against an issue. Doing this could bring science educators closer to to what extent do people use their content knowledge when making decisions
122 Implication for R esearch While the SSI Q measures depth of content use during SSI negotiation, it is not intended to be used as an assessment of argumentation quality. This is because argumentation does not necessarily demand the use of science content d uring the argumentation process. Assessments of argumentation may include arguments and finding from this study, that the extent to which one accepts evolution is a mitigating factor in the extent of content used during SSI negotiation, indicates that evolution acceptance could potentially mitigate measures of argumentation quality. For example, Sadler and Fowler (2006) developed a rubric for assessing argumentation quality within an SSI context that utilizes the justifications used to support a position. In this scoring scheme, possible scores range from zero (no justification) to four (justification with elaborate grounds and a counterposition). This rubric does no t require one to use science content as justification for an argument, though it is feasible that one could do so either as a justification, grounds for the justification, or as a counter position. ce (2009) evaluated high making about SSI based on biological conservation. Reported results from this study exemplify how science content can be used to varying degrees during an assessment of argumentation. As a specific example, a Level 2 argument is one where there is an attempt to justify a decision as in this example Let evolution take its course because nature finds a way other hand, utilizes a justification, explicit consid eration of the SSI in question (biological conservation in this study), and consideration of alternatives as in this example:
123 I think that the answer is to kill some elephants humanely for their ivory which could be sold to make money for the local peopl e. This way being kept. Other things could also be tried like breeding elephants in an without killing the elephants. (p. 559) Clearly the participant who gave Level 5 response has a deeper use of science content than the student who gave the Level 2 response. If the degree to which a participant accepts evolution affect s the extent to which science content is evoked wh en forming an argument, then it could potentially a ffect the overall rating of argumentation quality This is particularly the case for those participants who do not accept evolution and may receive a lower rating for argumentation quality then they would have otherwise. In other words, studies that examine the complexity of an argument ( e.g.: Grace, 2009; Sadler and Donnelly, 2006; Sadler & Fowler, 2006) may in some cases, be underestimating the quality of science based arguments in certain SSI situations Implications for Teaching and L earning As discussed earlier in this chapter, the majority of the science content evoked for all three SSI scenarios was directly related to evolution concepts, and this strongly
124 supports the claim that evolutio n is the central unifying principle of biology. The pedagogical uses of SSI has been convincingly argued for elsewhere (e.g. Zeidler, Applebaum, & Sadler, 2006; Zeidler & Sadler, 2008b); however, the findings of this study give even further support in fav or of using an SSI based pedagogy in the classroom for two reasons. First, it shows that the use of SSI throughout a biology curriculum can provide a cohesive way to promote overall understanding of biology. Second, the cohesiveness of the science content can provide a ve hicle for using SSI to promote socioscientific reasoning and functional scientific literacy. Zeidler and Sadler ( 2008) assert that because an SSI framework involves students in decision making within a science content that it provides an id eal context for, not only promoting conceptual understanding of science and social matters, but also for developing character and reflective judgment. With this comes the claim that functional scientific literacy transcends the contextual nature of individ ual SSI by utilizing socioscientific reasoning, which integrates the socio moral implications of science with the content of science. literate public without a widespread und erstanding of evolutionary principles that allow and m any science educators would undoubtedly agree with this An SSI based biological science curriculum that focuses on topics laden with evolu tion content would certainly meet this need. However, the problem is that evolution. For example, if the desired effect is to have students who can negotiate the SSI using socioscientific reas oning involving science content students who do not accept evolution may not negotiate the SSI using the science, and therefore, socioscientific
125 reasoning, to the extent that the teacher had anticipated. Further studies on how a lack of evolution acceptan ce affects socioscientific reasoning are needed to explore this further. S ummary Results from this study indicate that evolution is an important unifying concept in biology. This was seen in that each of the four themes directly related to evolution, V ariation, Inheritance, Differential Success, and Change, made up the predominant science content used by participants for each of the three SSI scenarios used in this study and that, unlike other science content, were used consistently throughout the three SSI scenarios. Results from this study also indicate that students were able to argue within different SSI contexts using the same evolution concepts. Additional studies are needed to determine whether or not this phenomenon could be used as an indicator of capacity for argumentation. In addition to its potential to assess aspects of argumentation, a modification of the S SI Q could be used for further study about dency to utilize science content during a decision making process within an SSI context. Finally, the hypothesis that content is utilized during SSI negotiation was support ed, indicating that science educators based SSI as either a research or pedagogical tool. Future studies should explore a possible and socioscientific reasoning within a biology cased SSI context.
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135 A ppendices
136 A ppendix A : SSI Questionnaire For each of the 3 topics, participants were asked to read a passage about topic and a related SSI scenario. They were then asked the following set of questions. 1. Should
137 Appendix A (Continued) 5. If someone confronted you with that argument, what could you say in response? How would you defend your position against his/her argument? For example, if someone said __________, how would you use science content to defend your position against his/her argument? 6. Is there anything else you might say to prove you are r ight? 7. In what ways does the above scenario connect to evolutionary theory? The purpose of this last question was to encourage the participant to include evolution content in his/her SSI negotiation. Issue: Gene Therapy Gene Therapy Reading Germ line gene therapy is a potential genetic technology. It has not yet been used cells (egg or sperm cells) or in a newly conceived embryo (just after fertilization). The in tent of gene therapy would be to remove an undesirable gene and replace it with a preferred gene. The sex cell or embryo resulting from gene therapy would possess the
138 Appendix A (Continued) Scenario: Intel ligence including both environmental and genetic influences. It is likely that several genes l, If science were able to isolate a gene that significantly contributed to a intelligence, should that gene be used for gene therapy to increase the intelligence of potential offspring? Issue: Cloning Cloning Reading The process of cloning is designed to produce an organism genetically identical to another organism. In th e normal process of mammalian reproduction, genetic material from an egg cell and a sperm cell combine during fertilization to produce a new genetic combination. The new genetic makeup of the offspring is distinct from both parents. The fertilized egg cell will eventually develop into a new offspring. In cloning, the genetic material of an unfertilized egg cell is removed, and a complete set of genetic material (from a donor) is inserted into the egg cell. The donor genetic material can be relatively obtain ed from most body cells (for example, skin cells). were a fertilized egg. The cloned offspring would be genetically identical to the donor organism.
139 Appendix A (Con tinued) Scenario : reproductive cloning Many otherwise healthy couples are unable to bear children. Modern reproductive technologies like fertility drugs and in vitro fertilization have enabled some of these individuals to have their own children. However, some couples remain infertile and unable to have a baby. For these individuals, cloning could be used as another reproductive technology. In this case, one of the parents would serve as the genetic an egg cell, and then the implanted into the woman. The embryo would develop into a fetus and eventually be born a baby. Should individuals who want to carry and have their own children be able to choose cloning as a reproductive option? Issue: Antibiotics Antibiotics reading Antibiotics is the general class of medications, including penicillin, that are used against bacteria and also some parasites. Antibiotics do not work against any viruses. The first ever discovered antibiotic was penicillin. Antibiotics are probably the largest ever breakthrough in health. They are responsible for the end of the scourge of humanity from a variety of plagues and diseases. Almost all bacte rial conditions can be treated by antibiotics A major area of controversy with antibiotics is over use of them in everyday treatment. Because antibiotics are helpful and rarely cause major side effects, they are easy for doctors to prescribe. Patients as k for them because people are coming to know
140 Appendix A (Continued) how effective they can be, and request them from their doctor. Antibiotics are widely used as both a treatment and as prevention against various bacterial conditions. The problem that ove r use of antibiotics creates is the emergency of antibiotic resistant strains of certain diseases. There are several types of disease that are becoming resistant to various antibiotic drugs, making them more difficult to treat successfully. Scenario: Prev entative antibiotics A ntibiotics do not kill viruses. Thus, the use of antibiotics against a virus such as flu or the common cold will not treat the condition. However, many doctors prescrib e antibiotics for people with cold or flu in order to prevent bact erial diseases particularly in patients whose immune systems are compromised, such as those with AIDS, chemotherapy, or organ transplants. This preventive use of antibiotics applies especially to the prevention of secondary infections or opportunistic inf ections. Should antibiotics continue to be used as a preventative measure?
141 A ppendix B : Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS: Anderson, Fisher & Norman, 2002) Your answers to these questions will assess your understanding of the Theory of Natura l Selection. Please choose the answer that best reflects how a biologist would think about each question. Galapagos finches Scientists have long believed that the 14 species of finches on the Galapagos Islands evolved from a single species of finch that migrated to the islands one to five million years ago (Lack, 1940). Recent DNA analyses support the conclusion that all of the Galapagos finches evolved from the warbler finch (Grant, Grant & Petren, 2001; Petren, Grant & Grant, 1999). Different species li ve on different islands. For example, the medium ground finch and the cactus finch live on one island. The large cactus finch occupies another island. One of the major changes in the finches is in their beak sizes and shapes as shown in this figure. Choos e the one answer that best reflects how an evolutionary biologist would answer. 1. What would happen if a breeding pair of finches was placed on an island under ideal conditions with no predators and unlimited food so that all individuals survived? Given enough time, A. the finch population would stay small because birds only have enough babies to replace themselves. B. the finch population would double and then stay relatively stable. C. the finch population would increase dramatically. D. the finch population would grow slowly and then level off.
142 Appendix B (continued) 2. Finches on the Galapagos Islands require food to eat and water to drink. A. When food and water are scarce, some birds may be unable to obtain what they need to su rvive. B. When food and water are limited, the finches will find other food sources, so there is always enough. C. When food and water are scarce, the finches all eat and drink less so that all birds survive. D. There is always plenty of foo d and water on the Galapagos Islands to meet the 3. Once a population of finches has lived on a particular island with an unvarying environment for many years, A. the population continues to grow rapidly. B. the population remains relatively stable, with some fluctuations. C. the population dramatically increases and decreases each year. D. the population will decrease steadily. 4. In the finch population, what are the primary changes that occur gradually over time? A. The traits of each finch within a population gradually change. B. The proportions of finches having different traits within a population change. C. Successful behaviors learned by finches are passed on to offspring. D. Mutations occur to meet the needs of the fin ches as the environment changes.
143 Appendix B (continued) 5. Depending on their beak size and shape, some finches get nectar from flowers, some eat grubs from bark, some eat small seeds, and some eat large nuts. Which statement best describes the interact ions among the finches and the food supply? A. Most of the finches on an island cooperate to find food and share what they find. B. Many of the finches on an island fight with one another and the physically strongest ones win. C. There is more tha compete for food. D. Finches compete primarily with closely related finches that eat the same kinds of food, and some may die from lack of food. 6. How did the different beak types first arise in the Galapagos finches? able to eat different kinds of food to survive. was a good match between beak structure and available food, those birds had more offspring. desired genetic changes. in size and shape with each successive generation, some getting larger and some getting smaller. 7. What type of variation in finches is passed to the offspring? B. Only characteristic
144 Appendix B (continued) C. All characteristics that were genetically determined. D. Any characteristics that were positively influenced by the environment during a 8. What caused p opulations of birds having different beak shapes and sizes to become distinct species distributed on the various islands? A. The finches were quite variable, and those whose features were best suited to the available food supply on each island repro duced most successfully. B. All finches are essentially alike and there are not really fourteen different species. C. Different foods are available on different islands and for that reason, individual finches on each island gradually developed the beaks they needed. D. Different lines of finches developed different beak types because they needed them in order to obtain the available food. Venezuelan guppies Guppies are small fish found in streams in Venezuela. Male guppies are brightly color ed, with black, red, blue and iridescent (reflective) spots. Males cannot be too brightly colored or they will be seen and consumed by predators, but if they are too plain, females will choose other males. Natural selection and sexual selection push in opp osite directions. When a guppy population lives in a stream in the absence of predators, the proportion of males that are bright and flashy increases in the population. If a few aggressive predators are added to the same stream, the proportion of bright co lored males decreases within about five months (3 4 generations). The effects of predators on guppy
145 Appendix B (continued) coloration have been studied in artificial ponds with mild, aggressive, and no predators, and by similar manipulations of natural s tream environments (Endler, 1980). Choose the one answer that best reflects how an evolutionary biologist would answer. 9. A typical natural population of guppies consists of hundreds of guppies. Which statement best describes the guppies of a single sp ecies in an isolated population? A. The guppies share all of the same characteristics and are identical to each other. B. The guppies share all of the essential characteristics of the species; the minor C. The guppies are all identical on the inside, but have many differences in appearance. D. The guppies share many essential characteristics, but also vary in many features. 10. Fitness is a term often used by biologists to explain the evolutionary su ccess of certain organisms. Which feature would a biologist consider to be most important in A. large body size and ability to swim quickly away from predators B. excellent ability to compete for food C. hi gh number of offspring that survived to reproductive age D. high number of matings with many different females. 11. Assuming ideal conditions with abundant food and space and no predators, what would happen if a mating pair of guppies was placed in a lar ge pond? A. The guppy population would grow slowly, as guppies would have only the number of babies that are needed to replenish the population. B. The guppy population would grow slowly at first, then would grow rapidly, and
146 Appendix B (continued ) thousands of guppies would fill the pond. C. The guppy population would never become very large, because only organisms such as insects and bacteria reproduce in that manner. D. The guppy population would continue to grow slowly over time. 12. Once a population of guppies has been established for a number of years in a real (not ideal) pond with other organisms including predators, what will likely happen to the population? A. The guppy population will stay about the same size. B. The guppy populat ion will continue to rapidly grow in size. C. The guppy population will gradually decrease until no more guppies are left. D. It is impossible to tell because populations do not follow patterns. 13. In guppy populations, what are the primary changes tha t occur gradually over time? A. The traits of each individual guppy within a population gradually change. B. The proportions of guppies having different traits within a population change. C. Successful behaviors learned by certain guppies are passed on to offspring. D. Mutations occur to meet the needs of the guppies as the environment changes. Canary Island Lizards The Canary Islands are seven islands just west of the African continent. The islands gradually became colonized with life: plants, lizards birds, etc. Three different species of lizards found on the islands are similar to one species found on the African continent (Thorpe & Brown, 1989). Because of this, scientists assume that the lizards traveled from Africa to the Canary Islands by floati ng on tree trunks washed out to sea.
147 Appendix B (continued) Choose the one answer that best reflects how an evolutionary biologist would answer. 14. Lizards eat a variety of insects and plants. Which statement describes the availability of food for liza rds on the Canary Islands? A. Finding food is not a problem since food is always in abundant supply. B. Since lizards can eat a variety of foods, there is likely to be enough food for all of the lizards at all times. C. Lizards can get by on very little food, so the food supply does not matter. D. It is likely that sometimes there is enough food, but at other times there is not enough food for all of the lizards. 15. What do you think happens among the lizards of a certain species when the food supply is limited? A. The lizards cooperate to find food and share what they find. B. The lizards fight for the available food and the strongest lizards kill the weaker ones. C. Genetic changes that would allow lizards to eat new food sources are l ikely to be induced. D. The lizards least successful in the competition for food are likely to die of starvation and malnutrition. 16. A well established population of lizards is made up of hundreds of individual lizards. On an island, all l izards in a lizard population are likely to . A. be indistinguishable, since there is a lot of interbreeding in isolated populations. B. be the same on the inside but display differences in their external features. C. be similar, yet have some signi ficant differences in their internal and external features.
148 Appendix B (continued) D. be the same on the outside but display differences in their internal features. 17. Which statement best describes how traits in lizards will be inherited by offspring? A. When parent lizards learn to catch particular insects, their offspring can inherit their specific insect catching skills. B. When parent lizards develop stronger claws through repeated use in catching prey, their offspring can inherit their stronger claw trait. available, their offspring can inherit their weakened claws. D. When a parent lizard is born with an extra finger on its claws, its offspring can i nherit six fingered claws. 18. Fitness is a term often used by biologists to explain the evolutionary success of certain organisms. Below are descriptions of four fictional female lizards. Which lizard ? Lizard A Lizard B Lizard C Lizard D Body length 20 cm 12 cm 10 cm 15 cm Offspring surviving to adulthood 19 28 22 26 Age at death 4 years 5 years 4 years 6 years Comments Lizard A is very healthy, strong, and clever Lizard B has mated with m any lizards Lizard C is dark colored and very quick Lizard D has the largest territory of all the lizards
149 Appendix B (continued) A. Lizard A B. Lizard B C. Lizard C D. Lizard D 19. According to the theory of natural selection, where did the variatio ns in body size in the three species of lizards most likely come from? A. The lizards needed to change in order to survive, so beneficial new traits developed. B. The lizards wanted to become different in size, so beneficial new traits gradually ap peared in the population. C. Random genetic changes and sexual recombination both created new variations. D. The island environment caused genetic changes in the lizards. 20. What could cause one species to change into three species over time? A. Group s of lizards encountered different island environments so the lizards needed to become new species with different traits in order to survive. B. Groups of lizards must have been geographically isolated from other groups and random genetic chan ges must have accumulated in these lizard populations over time. C. There may be minor variations, but all lizards are essentially alike and all are members of a single species. D. In order to survive, different groups of lizards needed to adapt to the different islands, and so all organisms in each group gradually evolved to become a new lizard species.
150 A ppendix C : Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE: Rutledge & Warden, 1999) For the following items, please indicate your ag reement or disagreement A B C D E Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree _____ 1. Organisms existing today are the result of evolutionary processes that have occurred over millions of years. _____ 2. The theory of evolution is incapa ble of being scientifically tested. _____ 3. Modern humans are the product of evolutionary processes that have occurred over millions of years. _____ 4. The theory of evolution is based on speculation and not valid scientific observation and testing. _____ 5. Most scientists accept evolutionary theory to be a scientifically valid theory. _____ 6. The available data are ambiguous (unclear) as to whether evolution actually occurs. _____ 7. The age of earth is less than 20,000 years. _____ 8. There is a signif icant body of data that supports evolutionary theory. _____ 9. Organisms exist today in essentially the same form in which they always have. _____ 10. Evolution is not a scientifically valid theory. _____ 11. The age of earth is at least 4 billion years. _____ 12. Current evolutionary theory is the result of sound scientific research and methodology.
151 Appendix C (continued) _____ 13. Evolutionary theory generates testable predictions with respect to the characteristics of life. _____ 14. The theory of evol ution cannot be correct since it disagrees with the Biblical account of creation. _____ 15. Humans exist today in essentially the same form in which they always have. _____ 16. Evolutionary theory is supported by factual historical and laboratory data. ___ __ 17. Much of the scientific community doubts if evolution occurs. _____ 18. The theory of evolution brings meaning to the diverse characteristics and behaviors observed in living forms. _____ 19. With few exceptions, organisms on earth came into existenc e at about the same time. _____ 20. Evolution is a scientifically valid theory.
152 A ppendix D : Sample participation information sheet Name: __________________________________________________________________ Major: ___________________________________________ _______________________ Age? _______ Gender? ________ With which ethnicity do you most identify? ________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ With which religion(s) do you most identify? If y ou do not identify with any, please write none. ______________________________________________________________ Please list any prior college level coursework you have taken in the biological sciences, including any advanced placement (AP) or dual enrollme nt courses you may have had in high school. Examples of college level coursework in the biological sciences are Biology I & II, Ecology, Genetics, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Anatomy, Physiology, Comparative Anatomy, Organic Evolution, Histology, etc. ___ _______________________________________________________________
153 A ppendix E : Semi structured interview protocol Semi approximately 2 5 weeks after participants completed the CINS, MATE, an d SSI Questionnaire. Part I Participants were asked the following series of questions for each SSI scenario given in responses are consistent with responses from the SSI Questionnaire. Responses were transcribed and scored according to the rubric designed from the SSI questionnaire so that consistency between scores could be determined. 1. How do you feel about reproductive cloning? Why? 2. Some people might disag ree with this. Why do you think that is? 3. What else would you say to those people who disagree? 4. So far you have mentioned
154 Appendix E (Continued) when they originally completed the CINS. 1. A number of mosquito populations no longer die when pesticides are sprayed on them, but many years ago pesticides killed most mosquitoes. Could you explain why many 2. Seals can remain underwater without breathing for nearly 45 minutes as they hunt for fish. How would a biologist explain how the ability to not breathe for long periods of time has evolved, assuming their ancestors could stay underwater for just a few minutes? 3. In a population of guppies (fish), what are the primary changes that occur gradually over time? A. The traits of each individual guppy within a population gradually change. B. The proportions of guppies having different traits within a population change. C. Successful behaviors learned by certain guppies are passed on to offspring. D. Mutations occur to meet th e needs of the guppies as the environment changes. 4. Cave salamanders (amphibian animals) are blind (they have eyes that are not functional). How would a biologist explain how blind cave salamanders evolved from ancestors that could see? Part III. The p consistent with their responses to the questions on the MATE. 1. Do you accept the theory of evolution? Please explain why or why not?
155 Appendix E (Continued) 2. Are there some p arts of the theory that you agree with and other parts that you do not?
About the Author Samantha R. Fowler received her B S in Biology from the University of Central Florida in 1997 and immediately began working on her M S degree in Biology at the University of South Florida during which she discovered a love for teaching and cha nged her major to Science Education. She received her M A in Science Education with a concentration in Biology in 2000. Since then she has taught several high school b iology courses She entered the doctoral program in 2003 and has made numerous presentations at regional and national meetings and teacher workshops and authored publications related to socioscientific issues, moral sensitivity, argumentation, and evolution In 2005 she began working for the Coalition for Science Literacy where she became Senior Social and Behavioral Sciences Researcher. In t he fall of 2009, she join ed the faculty of Clayton State University as Assistant Professor of Biology.
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Fowler, Samantha R.
College students' use of science content during socioscientific issues negotiation :
b impact of evolution understanding and acceptance
h [electronic resource] /
by Samantha R. Fowler.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 155 pages.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to explore the evolution science content used during college students' negotiation of biology-based socioscientific issues (SSI) and examine how it related to students' conceptual understanding and acceptance of biological evolution. Specific research questions were, (1a) what specific evolutionary science content do college students evoke during SSI negotiation, (1b) what is the depth of the evolutionary science content reflected in college students' SSI negotiation, and (2) what is the nature of the interaction between evolution understanding and evolution acceptance as they relate to depth of use of evolution content during SSI negotiation? The Socioscientific Issues Questionnaire (SSI-Q) was developed using inductive data analysis to examine science content use and to develop a rubric for measuring depth of evolutionary science content use during SSI negotiation. Sixty upper level undergraduate biology and non-biology majors completed the SSI-Q and also the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS: Anderson, Fisher, & Norman, 2002) to measure evolution understanding and the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE: Rutledge & Warden, 1999) to measure evolution acceptance. A multiple regression analysis tested for interaction effects between the predictor variables, evolution understanding and evolution acceptance. Results indicate that college students primarily use science concepts related to evolution to negotiate biology-based SSI: variation in a population, inheritance of traits, differential success, and change through time. The hypothesis that the extent of one's acceptance of evolution is a mitigating factor in how evolution content is evoked during SSI negotiation was supported by the data. This was seen in that evolution was the predominant science content used by participants for each of the three SSI scenarios used in this study and used consistently throughout the three SSI scenarios. In addition to its potential to assess aspects of argumentation, a modification of the SSI-Q could be used for further study about students' misconceptions about evolution or scientific literacy, if it is defined as one's tendency to utilize science content during a decision-making process within an SSI context.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Advisor: Dana Zeidler, Ph.D.
x Secondary Education
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.