EDUCATION: Inviting Darwin Into the Classroom

Science  20 Feb 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5661, pp. 1115
DOI: 10.1126/science.303.5661.1115c

Teachers looking for an up-to-date synthesis of what evolutionary theory does and doesn't say should check out Understanding Evolution, a new primer from the University of California Museum of Paleontology. The Evolution 101 section helps readers brush up on the basics, from genetic drift (when random events drive population evolution) to punctuated equilibrium (the idea that evolution occurs in bursts followed by long periods of stability). Instructions for more than 50 activities let grade school through high school students explore, for example, the evolution of body proportions in Caribbean anole lizards.

The site also includes plenty of advice on how to teach evolution. For those who meet resistance to including the subject in class, the site provides background on creationist organizations and a rundown of court rulings that have upheld the teaching of evolution.

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