SRSP 16-19 Topic 2 Unit 1c – How does the media treat science and religion


This unit gives students the opportunity to reflect on how issues concerning Science and Religion are covered in the media. They will look at the kind of stories in this field dealt with by the media and see in what ways this coverage displays a polarised position. Science and Religion are usually represented as completely opposite modes of knowledge. They will look in particular at the coverage that has been given to the teaching of science at Emmanuel College, Gateshead.

They will analyse two different cases to see what beliefs are explored in some newspaper articles, using a questionnaire to help them make comparisons between the two articles. In the following lesson they will use an investigation sheet to judge the extent to which these articles are biased. In a further lesson they will look at a wider range of articles to assess the strengths and weaknesses of journalistic comment. In the final lesson, students will be given a particular scenario and the chance to suggest the ideal way in which its science and religious issues might be dealt with by the media.

This unit consists of 4 lessons and is suitable for students aged from 16 to 19 years


Key Questions

  • What are the kind of stories which the media cover in relation to science and religion?
  • In what ways are science and religion portrayed as polarised and representing completely opposite modes of knowledge /experience?
  • How could the media explore science and religion questions further, drawing upon genuinely academic and representative viewpoints?
  • Is it possible to determine what actually happened at the college from the media reports? Give reasons for your answer.

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Unit Resources

Unit Overview (Word)

Background 1: What is Evolution? (Word)

Background 1[LA]: What is Evolution? (Word)

Background 2: Modern Evolutionary Theory (Word)

Background 2[LA]: Modern Evolutionary Theory (Word)

Background 3: Evolution and Creationism (Word)

Background 3[LA]: Evolution and Creationism (Word)

Background 4: Can evolution and creationism be compatible? (Word)

Background 4[LA]: Can evolution and creationism be compatible? (Word)

Links to further articles on science and religion


Lesson 1

Lesson Plan: Kansas and Emmanuel College, Gateshead (Word)

Student Resource 1: Newspaper Article 1 (Word)

Student Resource 2: Newspaper Article 2 (Word)

Student Resource 3: Questionnaire for group discussion (Word)


Lesson 2

Lesson Plan: Investigating Bias (Word)

Student Resource 4: Investigation Sheet (Word)

Student Resource 5: Newspaper Articles 3 and 4 (Word)

Student Resource 6: Newspaper Article 5 (Word)

Student Resource 7a: Newspaper Article 6 (Word)

Student Resource 7b: Newspaper Article 7 (Word)

Student Resource 7c: Newspaper Article 8 (Word)


Lesson 3

Lesson Plan: A Media Analysis (Word)

Student Resource 8a: Newspaper Article 9

Student Resource 8b: Newspaper Article 10 (Word)


Lesson 4

Lesson Plan: Government directives (Word)

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