The theory of evolution in greek primary and secondary education

  1. Lemma
  2. Η εικόνα της εξέλιξης στο ελληνικό σχολείο
  3. Greek, Modern (1453-)
  4. Katsiampoura, Gianna
  5. Biology - Education, Science and Orthodoxy - History and philosophy of science
  6. 20-02-2017
  7. Prinou, Lucia [Author]. Η εικόνα της εξέλιξης στο ελληνικό σχολείο The theory of evolution in greek primary and secondary education)
  8. Η εικόνα της εξέλιξης στο ελληνικό σχολείο (The theory of ecolution in greek primary and secondary education
  9. Greece - Evolution - Darwinism
  10. Click Here
    1. Prinou, Lucia (2008), Η εικόνα της εξέλιξης στο ελληνικό σχολείο (The theory of evolution in Greek primary and secondary education), PhD Thesis, University of Athens, Athens
    1. This dissertation investigated comprehensively the “representation” i.e. the “presentation” and “presence” of the theory of biological evolution in primary and secondary education in Greece, from the beginning of the twentieth century. In this context, Loukia Prinou reffers in detail to dialogue and conflict about evolution and Darwin from 19th to the end of 20th century in Greece.

       The basic results of the research were the following:

      The theory of evolution found its place in the curricula and secondary education biology textbooks early on (beginning of the 1930s), although at the end of the syllabus.

      The number of hours allocated to the instruction of biology was very limited compared to other subjects. The curricula and the textbooks were renewed tardily – due to specific historical circumstances. As a result of this tardiness textbooks were not enhanced by the developments in the theories of biological evolution, until the middle of the 1970s. The instruction of human evolution in particular, began during the 1980s and was addressed only to a percentage of pupils.

      With further new changes in the curricula at the end of the 1990s, the theory of evolution and the evolution of man found a more stable position in the curricula usually at the end of the syllabus in the biology textbooks. However biology lessons were still scheduled for less time than those dedicated to other subjects. In practice, there was either not enough time for the evolutionary theory to be taught in junior high school, or it was omitted from the subject matter of the courses in senior high school.   

      As the research in the primary education curricula and textbooks showed, the theory of evolution was not introduced and concepts seen as a prerequisite to the teaching of evolution were given inadequate attention.

      As the research in the views and conceptions of the teachers showed, the importance of teaching the evolutionary theory was recognized by the great majority of the teachers at both the primary and the secondary level of education. Nevertheless the majority of primary education teachers showed serious deficiencies in scientific knowledge demanded for teaching issues such as the subject of “adaptation of organisms”, a subject taught in many grades. As a result of the mentioned deficiency, pupils carry misconceptions to the next level of education which become an obstacle in secondary school pupils’ understanding the natural selection later on, despite the fact that their acceptance of evolution was recorded when their conceptions of the theory of evolution were examined.

      Secondary education teachers proved to be favourably disposed towards the instruction of the theory of evolution, a disposition expressed more vividly by those whose cognitive familiarity with the theory was greater. Also revealed was their need for specific and practical support in various matters, i.e. in matters relative to their scientific training in the theory, epistemological issues, as well as in pedagogical issues relating to the effectiveness of their teaching.

      The above-mentioned findings indicated the need for a more comprehensive teaching of the unifying theory of biology in secondary education and of the prerequisite concepts in primary and middle education. Towards that end, suggestions were made on how to implement improvements on the teaching of the subject and on further research.