Date

11-2015

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Kenneth R. Tierce

Keywords

biology, creation, Genesis, teachers

Disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

Abstract

he purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the experiences of Christian public high school biology teachers who believe in a literal, young earth account of creation as revealed in the book of Genesis. There is a gap in the literature regarding understanding the teaching experiences of Christians who believe in a strict interpretation of the biblical book of Genesis. This study was conducted by interviewing 11 Christian public school biology teachers from multiple states who met the criteria for being identified as young earth creationists. Data were also collected through a focus group and reflective vignettes. Data were analyzed through coding techniques, such as creating a classification scheme based on verbatim interviews, in order to identify emerging themes and categories of common experiences. The themes that emerged were: a love for science, a strong religious belief, the willingness to teach what evolution is, the intent to discount evolution, tension from outside sources, the feeling of strong community support, the belief of strong student relationships, and only a vague understanding of the current legal status of the creation/evolution debate. An understanding of the shared phenomenon of these teachers allows for a more complete understanding of the makeup of American biology educators.