The National Center for Science Education is the only national organization devoted to defending the teaching of evolution in public schools. This mission is vital because of evolution's central importance to the conceptual foundations of the modern biomedical, life, and earth sciences.
There is no scientific debate about the fundamentals of evolution. Life evolves; species descend with modifications from other species. However, fewer than 50% of American adults know that humans developed from earlier species. The fact of evolution is seen by some as a threat to personal worldviews. Added to this social controversy is a general lack of understanding about what evolution is and how it works. Together, these factors can make it challenging for teachers to present the science honestly, accurately, and completely. NCSE is committed to helping teachers gain the confidence and support they need to teach evolution effectively.
What are the Challenges to Teaching Evolution?
Evolution is included in national science standards and in every state’s science standards, but that does not mean that it’s being taught well—or even at all—in every state. Pressure from the community and a lack of quality resources can make skipping or abbreviating evolution a safer and more comfortable choice for some teachers. But doing so comes with a great cost: Students will never be fully educated unless they learn about evolution. Are you a teacher, trying to address evolution with your students? Check out NCSEteach, our associated programs, and Classroom Resources, including:
- Cans and Can'ts of Teaching Evolution
- Why Teach Evolution?
- Handling Challenges
- Theory and Fact
- Defining Evolution
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