ERIC Number: EJ898273
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
Spore: Spawning Evolutionary Misconceptions?
Bean, Thomas E.; Sinatra, Gale M.; Schrader, P. G.
Journal of Science Education and Technology, v19 n5 p409-414 Oct 2010
The use of computer simulations as educational tools may afford the means to develop understanding of evolution as a natural, emergent, and decentralized process. However, special consideration of developmental constraints on learning may be necessary when using these technologies. Specifically, the essentialist (biological forms possess an immutable essence), teleological (assignment of purpose to living things and/or parts of living things that may not be purposeful), and intentionality (assumption that events are caused by an intelligent agent) biases may be reinforced through the use of computer simulations, rather than addressed with instruction. We examine the video game Spore for its depiction of evolutionary content and its potential to reinforce these cognitive biases. In particular, we discuss three pedagogical strategies to mitigate weaknesses of Spore and other computer simulations: directly targeting misconceptions through refutational approaches, targeting specific principles of scientific inquiry, and directly addressing issues related to models as cognitive tools.
Descriptors: Misconceptions, Models, Evolution, Bias, Persuasive Discourse, Educational Strategies, Scientific Principles, Science Instruction, Science Education, Scientific Concepts, Teaching Methods, Educational Technology, Computer Simulation, Video Games, Computer Uses in Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A