• Jörg Großschedl
  • Fabian Seredszus
  • Ute Harms
The importance of evolutionary theory for school biology is undisputed as evolutionary theory connects the disciplines of biology to a meaningful unit. However, studies indicate that also in-service teachers have contextually inaccurate ideas (misconceptions) about evolutionary theory. These misconceptions could be responsible for students’ difficulties in understanding evolutionary theory. In a cross-sectional study, we assessed N = 212 pre-service biology teachers’ conceptual knowledge and acceptance of evolutionary theory. Pre-service teachers came from eleven universities and attended a teacher education program for primary, secondary, and grammar schools. Conceptual knowledge and acceptance were correlated as expected. Pre-service teachers aspiring to a teaching career in grammar schools were characterized by higher levels of knowledge and acceptance; however, differences between the teacher education programs were rather small. Moreover, differences between teacher education programs were reflected in the use of key concepts and contextually inaccurate ideas. Independently of the teacher education program, we could show that the quality of pre-service teachers’ explanations depends on contextual features of evolution (animal, plant, trait gain, trait loss). In international comparison, pre-service teachers’ knowledge and acceptance is relatively high.
Translated title of the contributionPre-service biology teachers: Knowledge and acceptance of evolutionary theory
Original languageGerman
JournalZeitschrift für Didaktik der Naturwissenschaften
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)51-70
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 12.2018

    Research areas

  • Acceptance, Conceptual knowledge, Pre-service teachers, Theory of evolution

ID: 900578