Religious and Scientific Instruction on Evolution and Origins in Israeli Schools

Rachel S.A. Pear, Dov Berger, Meir Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

With more investigation into the reception of evolution in non-Christian majority cultures, and the increased awareness that anti-evolution sentiment is a global phenomenon, new educational resources are being developed to meet newly understood needs. This article explores the situation in Israel regarding conceptions of the compatibility of evolution and religion, as well as the educational initiatives being developed to advance dialogue. Included in the article are data from a study in a Jewish, Muslim and Christian school regarding stakeholders’ views on evolution, as well as insights from the first professional development course for Israeli teachers on “Evolution and Faith.”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-334
Number of pages12
JournalReligious Education
Volume115
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 26 May 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © 2020 The Religious Education Association.

Funding

Research on the teaching of evolution in Israel is at its beginning stages. New initiatives are focusing on ascertaining the current level of understanding and acceptance of evolution among Israeli teachers and students, the history of Israeli educational policies regarding the teaching of the subject, as well as suggesting potential interventions for improving instruction. Specifically, a large-scale three-year study on the subject has just begun at the Center for Jewish and Democratic Education at the University of Haifa in conjunction with the Technion’s Faculty for Education in Science and Technology funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. That project will take a number of the elements outlined above to the next step, including conducting more interviews with teachers and policy makers. It will also add quantitative research to supplement the expanded qualitative material, as well as work with new proposed interventions in order to come to policy recommendations that can be promoted among teachers and policy makers leading to a more open and free discussion and learning of evolution and religious perspectives on origins (Owens et al ). Lastly, it aims to gather other researchers who are working on the subject of evolution education in the Israeli context, such as those at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Siani & Yarden, ; Stahi, ), for a conference to share knowledge and advance action on this profound topic.

FundersFunder number
Templeton World Charity Foundation

    Keywords

    • Darwin
    • Israel
    • Judaism
    • evolution
    • science and religion

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