LASAR at BERA

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Staff from Canterbury Christ Church addressed evolution and robots at the recent BERA (British Education Research association) annual conference.

Dr Andrea Ramos and Caroline Thomas reported on the findings on a Wellcome Trust-funded study of the challenges and opportunities of teaching evolution in rural schools. This study is part of a longer project by LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion) to help primary schools to provide children with effective and positive learning experiences about evolution (see www.primaryevolution.com).

We are now looking for primary teachers to take part in a new follow-up study for the Royal Society of Biology – please contact lasar@canterbury.ac.uk for more information.

Dr Mehdi Nassaji is a researcher with LASAR looking at teenagers’ reasoning about increasingly humanlike robots. The paper, called, ‘Ways to progress, apply and assess students’ appreciation of the power and limitations of science’ referred to current National Science curriculum and described workshops that ask teenagers to consider, ‘whether or not humanoid robots can and should ever be considered to be persons’. The team are now looking for schools to take part in a survey about the future of robots and artificial intelligence. Please contact lasar@canterbury.ac.uk for more information.

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