Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Science Education Major in Biology

Subject Categories

Science and Mathematics Education


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Science Education

Thesis Adviser

Allan Benedict I. Bernardo

Defense Panel Chair

Auxencia Limjap

Defense Panel Member

Lydia S. Roleda
Esperanza Maribel G. Agoo
Reynaldo M. Dela Paz
Ronald S.P. Elicay


Inspired by the epistemology of Constructivism and the mainstream approaches to science teaching and learning: History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) and the Conceptual Change Approach, this study was conducted to describe changes in students beliefs and concepts about the evolutionary theory after instruction. The study identified students beliefs and concepts, and their levels of acceptance as well as understanding before and after the teaching of the evolutionary theory. It examined their responses to the lines of evidence of evolution during the instruction. Prior to instruction, a validated belief test (researcher-modified version of the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) by Rutledge and Warden, 2000) and conceptual understanding tests (a researcher-made test and the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS) by Anderson, Fisher, & Norman, 2002) were administered to assess the students beliefs and concepts about the aforementioned theory. Based on the results of the pre-tests, each of the subjects was descriptively categorized into who: 1) believes and understands, 2) does not believe but understands; 3) believes but does not understand, 4) does not believe and does not understand, 5) unsure but understands and 6) unsure and does not understand the theory of evolution. The quantitative data revealed that: (a) Before the instruction, the subjects had a slightly high level of acceptance of the theory. After instruction, more students were convinced of the theory but considerable number of them remains doubtful or neutral about it; (b) Before the instruction, the students did not just have low level of understanding about the evolutionary concepts; they were shown to have many misconceptions. After instruction, the students have a slightly high level of understanding implying that the concepts became clearer and more comprehensible to them. These changes in beliefs and concepts about the evolutionary theory are brought about by the HPS-based instruction. The qualitative data obtained from post-instructional interviews and journal entries showed that: (a) Beliefs and concepts of the students ranged from non- to pre- Darwinian to Darwinian. (b) Some students expressed personal conflicts with the study of evolution, and considered the lines of evidence of evolution to be anomalous; (c) Many students doubted or rejected evolutionary theory based on misconceptions about human evolution and on their creationist beliefs; (d) Majority accepted the theory based on scientific beliefs. Changes in students beliefs and concepts about the evolutionary theory can be facilitated by historically-rich instruction. Thus, pedagogy based on HPS greatly promises to facilitate the learning process which aims change in beliefs and concepts about the theory of evolution.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer optical disc ; 4 3/4 in.


Evolution (Biology); Instructional systems; Science --Study and teaching; Belief and doubt; Science students; Concepts

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