Dr. Rebekka Darner, an Associate Professor of Biology Education at Illinois State University, says that educators are frequently confronting science denial in their classrooms.

Darner says individuals that ignore science has always been around. There have always been “flat earthers” and people that have ignored the science behind natural selection, but Darner thinks instructors are now encountering science deniers more frequently.

“I think what we’re seeing in the recent decade or two is that these things that used to exist on the periphery of society have started to migrate more toward the center,” says Darner. “And we encounter it more in our classrooms.”

So how does a teacher arm themselves with the skills to respond to students that may knowingly or unknowingly ignore science?

Darner suggests that educators must start by understanding the emotions and thinking behind science denial, and she offers ways teachers can delicately push back against inaccurate claims that students may make.

To hear our full interview with Dr. Rebekka Darner, listen to Episode 108 of the Class Dismissed podcast on your favorite podcast app or on iTunes.

Rebekka Darner can be contacted via email at rldarne@ilstu.edu

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