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Evolution education: treating evolution as a sensitive rather than a controversial issue

Reiss, M; (2019) Evolution education: treating evolution as a sensitive rather than a controversial issue. Ethics and Education 10.1080/17449642.2019.1617391.

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Abstract

Evolution is often seen as a site of contestation within the school curriculum. The topic of evolution is therefore often considered to be ‘controversial’. I first examine what is meant by ‘controversial’ and conclude that while, in an everyday sense, the topic of evolution can indeed be considered to be controversial, this term can mislead. A more fruitful way forward may be to regard the topic of evolution as ‘sensitive’. I examine reasons why evolution might be considered sensitive – noting that for a not inconsiderable number of people it is so because of a perceived conflict with religious views and also because it may be existentially disturbing for some. Rather little attention has been paid in the philosophy of education literature as to how we might deal with sensitive issues. I therefore look at what we mean by describing an issue as sensitive and at how teachers might deal in the classroom with such issues, specifically evolution.

Type: Article
Title: Evolution education: treating evolution as a sensitive rather than a controversial issue
DOI: 10.1080/17449642.2019.1617391
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/17449642.2019.1617391
Language: Finnish
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Evolution education, controversial issues, sensitive issues, creationism, intelligent design
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10075199
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