ERIC Number: ED305262
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
The Influence of a Diversified Instructional Strategy on an Understanding of the Nature of Scientific/Evolutionary Theory.
Scharmann, Lawrence C.
This study was designed to investigate the influence of a diversified instructional strategy to overcome misconceptions held by freshmen undergraduate students with respect to the nature of a scientific theory. The theory of evolution was selected because it is the most significant unifying theme within the discipline of biology. Two classes were pretested for background knowledge of evolutionary biology concepts, attitude regarding evolution, and an understanding of the nature of science. Intact groups received instruction from independent biology faculty members, both of whom agreed to make use of the same course outline and sequential introduction of topics. After having been exposed to an introductory lecture on the unit of evolution, the investigator provided the experimental group with an opportunity to discuss their positions regarding the theory of evolution. Discussion groups were asked to resolve potential conflicts arising among themselves and present a consensus opinion. The investigator further provided an interactive lecture/discussion to resolve misconceptions arising as a result of the small group discussions. Both groups were posttested using the same measures administered on the pretest. The analysis of between group posttest scores revealed no significant differences for evolutionary concepts; however, with respect to an understanding of the nature of science/attitude toward evolution, a significant difference was found for the experimental group. (CW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Kansas State Univ., Manhattan. Center for Science Education.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (62nd, San Francisco, CA, March 30-April 1, 1989).