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Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America's Classrooms Paperback – September 20, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Reissue edition (September 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521148863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521148863
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,471,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Who should determine whether evolution is taught in the schools and how it is taught? Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America's Classrooms is a thorough investigation of the relative roles played by school boards and the political process, by scientists, and by school teachers. You may be surprised by the answers."
-Francisco J. Ayala, University of California, Irvine

"Do not be fooled into thinking that this is 'merely' the single best book of social science on the controversy over evolution. It is, but it is more than that. This book is also a masterful treatment of big questions about the nature of public education and democratic governance."
-David E. Campbell, University of Notre Dame

"A tour de force. Berkman and Plutzer's analysis of who really decides what is taught about evolution in America's public schools is incisive and insightful, thorough and thoughtful. Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America's Classrooms is required reading for anyone who wants to understand the evolution wars."
-Glenn Branch, National Center for Science Education

"This important book, incorporating much new and pertinent empirical information about the actual teaching about origins in the classrooms of the USA, must be read by all interested in the ongoing debate about evolution and Creationism."
-Michael Ruse, Florida State University

"Berkman and Plutzer's insightful presentation of their research will come as a shock to many who do not realize the seriousness of the problem of antievolutionism in our schools. The authors have done a great service to the public in illuminating the many sources of this problem. It should be required reading especially for school board members, administrators, and principals."
-Eugenie Scott, National Center for Science Education

"Berkman and Plutzer strike exactly the right balance between, on the one hand, revealing their thought processes, describing the operationalization of their variable, explaining their regression models, and the like, and, on the other hand, sustaining a lively, engaging narrative discussion that keeps the reader engaged and thinking and learning along with them. I would think that anyone teaching a methods course, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level, would want to take a close look at this book to consider it for course adoptions.... Anyone concerned about state education standards, curriculum, and teaching practices is likely to find a plethora of substantive and methodological ideas and insights here."
-Michal Paris, Law and Politics Book Review

Book Description

Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer illuminate who really controls what children are taught in school. Based on their innovative survey of 926 high school biology teachers they show that the real power often lies with individual educators who make critical decisions in their own classrooms.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book examines the politics of evolution in America's schools. The use of a number of data sets allows for issues such as the following to be explored: (a) general public opinion about evolution and creationism; (b) factors that affect citizens' views regarding evolution; (c) teachers' views on teaching biology.

Using the variety of data bases, the authors examine the political debate and conflict over what might seem like a scientific issue. But, that misses the point. The authors noted that there are cultural, religious, and social elements to the disagreement among those supporting evolution, those opposed, and those somewhere in between.

Because of the surveys of teachers, the authors are able to explore the role of teachers as "street level bureaucrats" in the teaching of biology. The survey results add an enormous component to this book.

The concluding chapter considers where the debate might go in the future.

All in all, a very important book on a major political divide in the United States.
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