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Keywords:

  • biology;
  • teacher beliefs;
  • evolution;
  • epistemology

Abstract

In this study, using multiple regression analysis, we aimed to explore the factors related to acceptance of evolutionary theory among preservice Turkish biology teachers using conceptual ecology for biological evolution as a theoretical lens. We aimed to determine the extent to which we can account for the variance in acceptance of evolutionary theory by using understanding of evolutionary theory, epistemological beliefs, thinking dispositions, and parents' educational level as independent variables. Preservice biology teachers' thinking dispositions, their understanding of evolutionary theory, and their parents' educational level are positively correlated with acceptance of evolutionary theory. We did not find any significant positive correlation between epistemological beliefs and acceptance of evolution because of low reliability coefficients of subscales of the epistemological beliefs instrument. Together they explained 10.5% of the variance. These results suggest that studying the relationship between acceptance of evolutionary theory and other related factors in a multivariate context is more informative than examining the relationship between acceptance of evolutionary theory and other factors in isolation. Our findings indicate that studying a controversial issue such as acceptance of evolutionary theory in a multivariate fashion, using conceptual ecology as a theoretical lens to interpret the findings, is informative. Our results suggest the inclusion of thinking dispositions in conceptual ecology for biological evolution. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 45: 420–443, 2008