Navigation Links
Teaching complete evolutionary stories increases learning
Date:6/14/2013

Many students have difficulty understanding and explaining how evolution operates. In search of better ways to teach the subject, researchers at Michigan State University developed complete evolutionary case studies spanning the gamut from the molecular changes underlying an evolving characteristic to their genetic consequences and effects in populations. The researchers, Peter J. T. White, Merle K. Heidemann, and James J. Smith, then incorporated two of the scenarios into a cellular and molecular biology course taught to undergraduates at the university's Lyman Briggs College. When the students' understanding was tested, the results showed that students who had understood an integrated evolutionary scenario were better at explaining and describing how evolution works in general.

The results of the research, described in the July issue of BioScience, are significant because evolution is not usually taught in this comprehensive, soup-to-nuts way. Rather, instructors teach examples of parts of the evolutionary process, such as the ecological effects of natural selection or the rules of genetic inheritance, separately. It appears that this fragmentation makes it harder for students to understand the process as a whole.

White and his colleagues note that "surprisingly few" comprehensive evolutionary study systems have been described, although the number is growing. The two employed in the BioScience study were about the evolution of sweet taste and wrinkled skin in domestic garden peas, and the evolution of light or dark coat color in beach mice living on light or dark sand. Students were tested on the beach mouse coat color scenario as well as on evolutionary principles in general. Understanding the beach mouse example was a better predictor of good responses to questions about evolution in general than was performance on the course as a whole. This suggests that improvements in evolutionary understanding came mostly from studying the integrated evolution scenarios.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tim Beardsley
tbeardsley@aibs.org
703-674-2500 x326
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Teaching about hearing can save young peoples ears
2. Mini-CT scanner developed as a teaching tool
3. SF State biology department receives $1.5 million to support science teaching
4. MARC travel awards announced for 2012 Institute on Teaching and Mentoring
5. Teaching a microbe to make fuel
6. Partnership enhances biology teaching at California community colleges
7. Young gamers offer insight to teaching new physicians robotic surgery
8. Surprising teaching tool in K-12 science education -- Zebrafish research
9. Univ. of Miami profs Chen and Soden named Fellows of AMS, Albrecht receives AMS Teaching Award
10. Teaching the brain to speak again
11. Education resource focuses on teaching population genetics using current research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/14/2016)... Allemagne, March 14, 2016 ... - --> - Renvoi : image disponible ... --> --> DERMALOG, ... fournit de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes digitales pour l,enregistrement ... DERMALOG sera utilisé pour produire des cartes d,identité ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... March 9, 2016 This BCC Research report ... of the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) market for the ... instruments, tools and reagents, data analysis, and services. ... of the RNA-Sequencing market such as RNA-Sequencing tools and ... main factors affecting each segment and forecast their market ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... 2016  2016FLEX, organized by FlexTech, a SEMI ... in flexible, hybrid and printed electronics. More than ... have gathered for short courses, technical session, exhibits, ... The Flex Conference celebrates its 15 th ... organizations, and universities contributing to the adoption of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... , May 4, 2016  Bayer today announced ... compound Stivarga ® (regorafenib) tablets for the ... has met its primary endpoint of a statistically ... RESORCE, evaluated the efficacy and safety of regorafenib ... after treatment with sorafenib. The safety and tolerability ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... biotechnology to help treat hormonal and stress related hair loss. With patent-pending formulas ... hearts of key opinion leaders in the medical and salon channels nationwide. ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... gather at Boston CEO 2016 on May 31st and June 1st at The ... forum for leading executives in the life sciences, offering exclusive access to key ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... - And Other Rising Companies ... Those Competitor Biologics  - Biosimilar Drug Producers ... ,  Who are the most important and ... their sales potentials? Discover, in our updated survey, organisations, ... and revenue forecasting. Visiongain,s new ...
Breaking Biology Technology: