More than a decade after human evolution received fully-fledged status in the school curriculum‚ many teachers either don't understand it or object to teaching it on religious grounds.
“Life sciences teachers in South Africa are opposed to teaching evolution‚ mainly because they lack the content knowledge to do so‚ and they are concerned about the controversial nature of the topic‚ specifically as it relates to religion‚" said a University of Pretoria anthropologist who examined the progress of evolution education.
Reporting her findings in the South African Journal of Science‚ Clarisa Sutherland added: "Some teachers experience a conflict between their own religious beliefs and the requirement to teach evolution."
The apartheid education system ignored evolution and "the ‘hidden’ curriculum during the time made creationism‚ patriotism‚ race relations and religion part of the everyday school experience of white learners‚” said Sutherland.
“This problem is the fact that evolution is an inherently difficult concept to teach and learn. The lack of education‚ along with sometimes deliberate misdirection‚ has‚ regrettably‚ fueled the growth of misconceptions in evolutionary theory.”