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Controversy in Biology Classrooms--Citizen Science Approaches to Evolution and Applications to Climate Change Discussions

Abstract

"The biological sciences encompass topics considered controversial by the American public, such as evolution and climate change. We believe that the development of climate change education in the biology classroom is better informed by an understanding of the history of the teaching of evolution. A common goal for science educators should be to engender a greater respect for and appreciation of science among students while teaching specific content knowledge. Citizen science has emerged as a viable yet underdeveloped method for engaging students of all ages in key scientific issues that impact society through authentic data-driven scientific research. Where successful, citizen science may open avenues of communication and engagement with the scientific process that would otherwise be more difficult to achieve. Citizen science projects demonstrate versatility in education and the ability to test hypotheses by collecting large amounts of often publishable data. We find a great possibility for science education research in the incorporation of citizen science projects in curriculum, especially with respect to 'hot topics' of socioscientific debate based on our review of the findings of other authors."

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