Do School Curricula Matter to Students in the Long Run?
ECONOMIC POLICY AND ITS IMPACT
Greater exposure to evolution teaching not only improves students’ knowledge of evolution by the time they graduate from high school, but it also enhances their belief in evolution in adulthood. What is more, the reforms affect high-stakes life decisions, namely the probability of choosing a career in life sciences.
- The teaching of evolution theory in school has a lasting impact on students
- Reforms of the coverage of evolution in US education standards have a positive effect on students’ knowledge of evolution by the end of high school
- These reforms translate into a greater belief in evolution in adulthood, without crowding out religiosity or affecting political attitudes
- They also affect high-stakes life decisions, such as the probability of choosing a career in life sciences
- These findings imply that science education is an effective tool for fostering scientific attitudes and tackling the shortage of STEM workers
Benjamin W. Arold: “Do School Curricula Matter to Students in the Long Run? The Case of Teaching the Theory of Evolution or Creationism in the United States,” EconPol Forum 24 (1), CESifo, Munich, 2023.