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ERIC Number: EJ784009
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Aug
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-0002-7685
A Hands-On Exercise to Demonstrate Evolution by Natural Selection & Genetic Drift
Young, Helen J.; Young, Truman P.
American Biology Teacher, v65 n6 p444-448 Aug 2003
Although students "learn" (i.e., hear about) the components of evolution by natural selection in high school biology courses, few of them truly understand or remember them. Evolution by natural selection, although seemingly simple, requires that several conditions be met. The trait of concern must exhibit variation within the population; this variation must be heritable; and the trait must be associated with differences in fitness. In this article, the authors outline a hands-on exercise that clearly demonstrates these requirements. They discuss first a hands-on method of teaching about natural selection that increases the understanding and retention of this important concept. Then, they discuss the second exercise that demonstrates how genetic drift can lead to changes in phenotype through a random association between phenotype and fitness. The authors like this method of teaching the components of natural selection and genetic drift because it requires few tools and makes the points clearly, without requiring the color and sound of a computer-interactive demonstration. More importantly, students are involved in the demonstration itself, as well as the interpretation of the demonstration. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A