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ERIC Number: EJ863728
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0002-7685
Teaching Evolution through Inquiry-Based Lessons of Uncontroversial Science
DeSantis, Larisa R. G.
American Biology Teacher, v71 n2 p106-111 Feb 2009
Antibiotic resistance, genetically modified produce, avian flu, and invasive species persistence are just a few scientific issues pulled from the headlines that affect society on a daily basis. Understanding these issues requires knowledge of evolutionary processes. Educating students about evolution may never have been as necessary as it is today; however, public battles between science and religion provide hurdles to teaching evolution. The need to produce students equipped to understand current and future scientific issues of societal relevance is rarely disputed. Therefore, it is important to find creative ways to accomplish this goal. Improving a student's ability to understand evolution may be achieved through an inquiry-based module that focuses on relevant and uncontroversial geological, physical, and life sciences. This article describes a module which engages students in determining the age of their fossil, its relationship to living organisms, and observing natural selection through inquiry-based and collaborative learning. By first understanding the scientific methods used by paleontologists to document evolutionary processes, later lessons specific to evolution are effective and well-received. The module described in this article consists of three lessons that address "National Science Education Standards" and have the potential to improve science process skills through interdisciplinary content. All lessons utilize group collaborations and provide inquiry-based activities that model the science done by university professors and scientists. Additionally, each lesson focuses on understanding uncontroversial scientific material including the law of superposition (i.e., the idea that younger sediments are laid down on top of older sediments), relative vs. absolute dating (i.e., methods for determining the age of fossils and surrounding rocks), classification methods, and the process of natural selection. (Contains 3 tables and 5 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A