Ohio's Academic Content Standards for Science K–12: A legal and *policy analysis of intelligent design using Q methodology
The purpose of this study was to critically examine aspects of the educational policy development process that resulted in the adoption of Ohio's Academic Content Standards for Science K-12. The perspectives of various key stakeholders were explored using Q methodology and traditional legal research methods inquired into the legal ramifications of using intelligent design to critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory in the public school classroom.
Data were collected from a questionnaire that was developed to reveal subjective perspectives through the administration of a Q-sort. The data were analyzed using the PQMethod statistical software program. The study also utilized traditional legal research methodology designed to discover and analyze case law relevant to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
The study revealed two Factor Types which have significantly different perspectives concerning the teaching of the controversial issues of evolution and intelligent design. Factor I types represented the Dominant Scientific Paradigm favoring evolution as the only legitimate approach to the teaching of biological origins. Factor II types represented the Novel Scientific Paradigm, which advocated for a "teach the controversy" approach to the teaching of origins. The results of the legal research demonstrated that persuasive legal arguments can be made both for and against the inclusion of intelligent design in the science curriculum. The study concluded that Ohio's science standards have provided little clarity for school districts in determining the legality of using intelligent design to critically analyze evolutionary, and that ultimately, one's perspective determines the legal ramifications and pedagogical implications of the policy.
0615: Political science