Understanding Evolution: An Evolution Website for Teachers

By Scotchmoor, Judy; Janulaw, Al | The Science Teacher, December 2005 | Go to article overview

Understanding Evolution: An Evolution Website for Teachers


Scotchmoor, Judy, Janulaw, Al, The Science Teacher


While many states are facing challenges to the teaching of evolution in their science classrooms, the University of California Museum of Paleontology, working with the National Center for Science Education, has developed a useful web-based resource for science teachers of all grade- and experience-levels. Understanding Evolution (UE) was developed in January 2004 in response to teachers' needs for science content, teaching resources, and teaching strategies.

The UE website at http://evolution.berkeley.edu has since been expanded to include more resources for teachers, students, and the general public. The original material (Figure 1) is a good place for teachers to start and can be accessed through the "Teachers click here" link on the UE website. A close look at the page reveals curving lines, similar to a cladogram, drawn on a chalkboard. This image reflects both the substance of the site and its development. Rather than focusing on the controversy over evolution, the site concentrates on the science of evolution and provides resources for effective teaching. Thus the cladogram has two distinct lineages--content and resources--labeled Learning Evolution and Teaching Evolution.

A look at the content

Learning Evolution is a handy resource for teachers who want to brush up on their background knowledge on the nature of science and evolution, as well as for those for whom evolution is a relatively new topic. Although some aspects can be used directly for student learning, the site was developed for teachers. Teachers can do a quick search for information on a particular subject, such as a discussion on the pace of evolution or the scientific process, or they can take a comprehensive self-paced online course, complete with embedded self-assessment.

Each section ends with a "Quick Quiz" and a picture familiar to all of us--a classroom of students with hands raised and questions ready. This allows teachers to assess their understanding of the concepts covered through their ability to respond to typical, and sometimes humorous, questions posed by students. Learning Evolution includes the following six sections.

Nature of Science focuses on what science is and what it is not. Much of the confusion about evolution stems from a misunderstanding of the nature of science. This section outlines the specifics of the scientific process, the requirements placed upon that process, and how it operates within a cultural context.

Evolution 101 provides a comprehensive primer on the patterns and processes in evolution, or how evolution takes place. This basic instruction flows from an introduction of phylogenetics to sections dealing with the detailed mechanisms of evolution, explanations of evolution on both small and large scales, and how speciation occurs. This section concludes with "Big Issues"--the major areas of evolutionary theory that remain under discussion and consideration by the scientific community.

Evolution 101 also contains many opportunities to use "Explore Further" buttons to obtain more detailed information on selected topics. Of particular interest to teachers are the embedded "Teach This" buttons, which link to a vetted selection of lessons and classroom activities useful for teaching the concepts covered. To assure scientific accuracy and appropriate pedagogy, both scientists and teachers have reviewed all the material.

Lines of Evidence traces the multiple lines of evidence used by science to know and understand the history and evolution of life on Earth, including chronology, homologous structures, development, and experimentation.

Relevance of Evolution illustrates the importance of evolution in our daily lives. Our annual flu shots, the hope for an HIV cure, the stewardship of our planet, and the health of our corn harvest are all dependent on our understanding of the process of evolution.

Misconceptions about evolution are regretfully common and are often the culprit in raising barriers to learning. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Understanding Evolution: An Evolution Website for Teachers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.