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ERIC Number: EJ1092124
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1935-7869
Clearing the Highest Hurdle: Human-Based Case Studies Broaden Students' Knowledge of Core Evolutionary Concepts
Werth, Alexander J.
Journal of Effective Teaching, v9 n2 p38-53 2009
An anonymous survey instrument was used for a ten year study to gauge college student attitudes toward evolution. Results indicate that students are most likely to accept evolution as a historical process for change in physical features of non-human organisms. They are less likely to accept evolution as an ongoing process that shapes all traits (including biochemical, physiological, and behavioral) in humans. Students who fail to accept the factual nature of human evolution do not gain an accurate view of evolution, let alone modern biology. Fortunately, because of students' natural curiosity about their bodies and related topics (e.g., medicine, vestigial features, human prehistory), a pedagogical focus on human evolution provides a fun and effective way to teach core evolutionary concepts, as quantified by the survey. Results of the study are presented along with useful case studies involving human evolution.
Journal of Effective Teaching. Center for Teaching Excellence, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403. Tel: 910-962-3034; Fax: 910-962-3427; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A