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Educational Malpractice: The Impact of Including Creationism in High School Biology

Abstract

"College students whose recollections of their high school biology courses included
creationism were significantly more likely to invoke creationism-based answers on
questions derived from the Material Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE)
instrument than were students whose recollections of their high school biology courses
included evolution but not creationism. On average, students who were taught neither
evolution nor creationism in their high school biology courses exhibited intermediary
responses on the MATE instrument. These results suggest that (1) high school teachers'
treatments of evolution and creationism have a lasting impact and (2) the inclusion of
creationism in high school biology courses increases the probability that students accept
creationism and reject evolution when they arrive at college. These results are discussed
relative to the impact of high school biology courses on students' subsequent acceptance
of evolution and creationism."

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