Education

The evolution of teaching evolution

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Science  15 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6283, pp. 305-306
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6283.305-e

Current research in evolution encompasses more than natural selection. However, evolutionary mechanisms other than natural selection are not always presented in classrooms. Price and Perez analyzed evolution education literature and high-school and college education standards to highlight the lack of concepts such as genetic drift, dominance in allelic pairs, and evolutionary developmental biology. They analyzed students' answers on concept inventories and found that students favor natural selection as the explanation for all evolution, which may ultimately impede their understanding of additional evolutionary mechanisms. The proposed solution, interleaving the teaching of natural selection with other evolutionary processes through iterative cycles of natural selection, genetic drift, dominance, etc., could result in students having a stronger understanding of all evolutionary processes.

Am. Biol. Teach. 10.1525/abt.2016.78.2.101 (2016).

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