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ERIC Number: EJ1171579
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
Moving Evolution Education Forward: A Systematic Analysis of Literature to Identify Gaps in Collective Knowledge for Teaching
Ziadie, M. A.; Andrews, T. C.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v17 n1 Article 11 Mar 2018
Evolution is a unifying theory in biology and is challenging for undergraduates to learn. An instructor's ability to help students learn is influenced by pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), which is topic-specific knowledge of teaching and learning. Instructors need PCK for every topic they teach, which is a tremendous body of knowledge to develop alone. However, investigations of undergraduate thinking and learning have produced collective PCK that is available in peer-reviewed literature. Currently, it is unclear whether the collective PCK available adequately addresses the topics in evolution that college instructors teach. We systematically examined existing literature to determine what collective PCK for teaching evolution is available and what is missing. We conducted an exhaustive literature search and analyzed 316 relevant papers to determine: the evolutionary topics addressed; whether the focus was student thinking, assessment, instructional strategies, or goals; and the type of work (e.g., empirical, literature review). We compared the collective PCK available in the literature with the topics taught in a sample of 32 undergraduate evolution courses around the country. On the basis of our findings, we propose priorities for the evolution education research community and propose that PCK is a useful lens for guiding future research on teaching and learning biology.
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DGE1443117