Sanders, N.K.*; Mayo, M.; Stuart, J.: Truman State University students and evolution: a survey.
Recent media attention has refocused the American public on the teaching of evolution in public schools. Nationwide, differences in state standards for science education offer a wide variety of possibilities of how to teach about evolution � or not – for public school science teachers. Truman State University in northeast Missouri is public liberal arts school in a state that does not mention evolution in the state science standards. Student writing assignments in introductory biology over an 8 year period led to my perception that many Truman students know little about the science of evolution, and have many major misconceptions about this theory. A survey was designed to elucidate attitudes toward and understanding of evolution by students in Truman biology classes. We predicted that non major biology students would have the least understanding of evolution, and senior biology majors in the capstone course would have the greatest understanding. Preliminary data support this prediction.