A new NCSE/Penn State survey finds impressive gains in evolution education

Pair of students working

Public high school biology teachers today are more likely to teach evolution — the conceptual core and organizing principle of the life sciences — as settled science than they were twelve years ago, according to a new rigorous national survey from NCSE and Penn State.

Conducted in 2019 among 752 public high school biology teachers by Eric Plutzer, a political scientist and polling expert at Penn State, the survey was designed to replicate a similar national survey that Plutzer and his colleagues conducted in 2007.

The results from the survey appear in Eric Plutzer, Glenn Branch, and Ann Reid's "Teaching Evolution in U.S. Public Schools: A Continuing Challenge," published open-access in the peer-reviewed journal Evolution: Education and Outreach on June 9, 2020.

In a column for Nature (June 18, 2020), NCSE's executive director Ann Reid explains that the survey results "show a rise not only in the time spent teaching evolution, but also in the proportion of educators emphasizing the scientific consensus."

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.