2007 Teaching and Learning Symposium

2:30-4:30 p.m., April 24, 2007
HUB West Ballroom

Session Description


Teaching evolution as an applied science?

Jevin West - Biology


Despite the nearly unanimous acceptance within the scientific community, evolution is one of the most widely misunderstood concepts among the general public. The social controversy associated with the teaching of this subject suggests that there may be a failure in an aspect of basic science education. To address this issue, we propose to develop a course geared towards high school biology teachers. The course will have two objectives: (1) provide for high school teachers the resources to deal with this issue and (2) create a platform for developing successful pedagogies that high school biology teachers can use. We will ask and address questions like the following: are teleological and anthropomorphic explanations appropriate for topics like evolution; is constructivism and engagement of a student’s preconceptions an effective way to teach; how valuable is the lab experience in evolutionary biology; and is teaching evolutionary biology as an applied science a worthwhile endeavor? The work is presently in progress. Comments and suggestions on the experimental design are welcome.



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