Investigating Science Education

Conducting high-quality research to better understand science education.

The acceptance of evolution: A developmental view of Generation X in the United States

Read the journal article
Evolution
2024

The acceptance of evolution: A developmental view of Generation X in the United States analyzes the acceptance or rejection of evolution using a 33-year longitudinal study that followed the same 5000 public-school students from grade 7 through midlife (ages 45–48), and is the first to do so in regard to evolution. NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch is an author of the study.

Citizen attitudes toward science and technology, 1957–2020: measurement, stability, and the Trump challenge

Read the journal article
Science
2024

Citizen attitudes toward science and technology, 1957–2020: measurement, stability, and the Trump challenge, from a group of six researchers including NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch, found that Americans’ confidence in science was unshaken by the Trump administration’s attacks on scientific expertise.

Press Coverage

Evaluating the current state of evolution acceptance instruments: a research coordination network meeting report

Read the journal article
Evolution education
2024

Evaluating the current state of evolution acceptance instruments: a research coordination network meeting report, from a group of 16 experts including NCSE Executive Director Amanda L. Townley, reviews current evolution acceptance instruments used with undergraduate biology students and puts forth a guide to the strengths and weaknesses of these instruments.

What’s effective and ineffective in preparing high school biology educators to teach evolution? Evidence from a representative national U.S. survey

Read the journal article
Evolution education
2023

What types of coursework prepare biology teachers to teach evolution effectively? What’s effective and ineffective in preparing high school biology educators to teach evolution?from researchers at NCSE and Penn State University, provides answers to that question based on evidence from a nationally representative sample of public high school biology teachers in the U.S.

Climate change summit: testing the impact of role playing games on crossing the knowledge to action gap

Read the journal article
Climate change
2022

Climate change summit: testing the impact of role playing games on crossing the knowledge to action gap, co-authored by a researcher from the National Center for Science Education, examined role-playing activity in undergraduate science class sections to explore how role-playing affected climate change decision-making.

From The Fresh Prince to The Politician: climate change frames in American scripted television comedy 1990–2020

Read the journal article
Climate change
2022

From The Fresh Prince to The Politician: climate change frames in American scripted television comedy 1990–2020, from a researcher at the National Center for Science Education, analyzed comedic framing of climate change in scripted television comedies and found that though television has the potential to further knowledge and action through comedies, this potential remains largely unrealized.

Communicating climate change content in small and mid-sized museums: challenges and opportunities

Read the journal article
Breaking Down Barriers
2021

Communicating Climate Change Content in Small and Mid-Sized Museums: Challenges and Opportunities, from researchers at the National Center for Science Education, reviews common challenges to incorporating climate change in rural museums, along with an overview of how partnerships can overcome these barriers using theory-based science communication approaches.

Small museums and community partnerships: equity, education, and interpretation

Read the journal article
Breaking Down Barriers
2021

Small Museums and Community Partnerships: Equity, Education, and Interpretation, from researchers at the National Center for Science Education, examines practices for effective partnerships at nine small museums.

Public acceptance of evolution in the United States, 1985–2020

Read the journal article
Evolution
2021

Public acceptance of evolution in the United States, 1985–2020, from researchers at NCSE, the University of Michigan, and the University of Oviedo in Spain is based on a series of national public opinion surveys conducted over the last 35 years and finds that a majority of Americans now accept evolution.

Press Coverage

Teaching evolution in U.S. public middle schools: results of the first national survey

Read the journal article
Evolution education
2021

Teaching evolution in U.S. public middle schools: results of the first national survey, from researchers at NCSE and Penn State University, is the first systematic attempt to investigate middle school evolution education through a representative survey of science teachers.

Press Coverage

It takes a village: finding common ground among stakeholders

Read the study
Outreach
Graduate Student Outreach Fellowship
2020

Michelle Valkanas, an NCSE 2019 Graduate Student Outreach Fellow, shared her fellowship research on strategies for effective community engagement at the 2020 Association of Science and Technology Center conference. Her poster, which explains how NCSE works with communities to make climate change and evolution accessible and relevant, garnered more than 200 views during the virtual event.

Making the Grade? How state public school standards address climate change

Read the study
Climate change
2020

Making the Grade? How State Public School Standards Address Climate Change provides an analysis of every state's science standards when it comes to climate change. Developed by NCSE and the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund, the report has a companion website with an interactive map.

Press Coverage

UK National Association for Environmental Education

How well is climate change addressed in schools?
Read Article
Published on
Published on
Published on
Published on
Published on
Published on

Teaching evolution in U.S. public schools: a continuing challenge

Read the journal article
Evolution education
2020

Teaching evolution in U.S. public schools: a continuing challenge details a rigorous, nationwide NCSE/Penn State survey of high school biology teachers that finds promising and significant improvements in evolution education over the past 12 years — the last time a similar study was conducted.

Press Coverage

Mixed Messages: How climate change is taught in America's public schools

Read the white paper
Climate change
2016

Mixed Messages: How Climate Change is Taught in America's Public Schools is a detailed report of the first nationwide survey of climate change education in the United States, conceived and funded by NCSE and conducted in collaboration with researchers at Pennsylvania State University.

Press Coverage

Published on
Published on
Published on
Published on
Published on

Dispatches from the evolution wars: shifting tactics and expanding battlefields

Read the journal article
Evolution education
Creationism
2010

To understand the ongoing challenges facing evolution education in the United States, it is necessary to appreciate creationist actions at the different levels of educational governance — state legislatures, state boards of education, local boards of education, and finally the individual classroom — that serve as the battlegrounds for the evolution education wars.

Evolution and creationism in America's classrooms: A national portrait

Read the journal article
Evolution education
2008

Evolution and Creationism in America's Classrooms: A National Portrait, the first nationally representative survey of teachers concerning the teaching of evolution, found that a majority teach the topic inaccurately or inadequately. 

Press Coverage