ERIC Number: EJ924557
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
Students' Preconceptions about Evolution: How Accurate Is the Characterization as "Lamarckian" when Considering the History of Evolutionary Thought?
Kampourakis, Kostas; Zogza, Vasso
Science & Education, v16 n3-5 p393-422 Mar 2007
In this paper, the main points of Lamarck's and Darwin's theoretical conceptual schemes about evolution are compared to those derived from 15 years old students' explanations of evolutionary episodes. We suggest that secondary students' preconceptions should not be characterized as "Lamarckian", because they are essentially different from the ideas that Lamarck himself possessed. Most students in our research believed that needs directly impose changes on animal bodies in order to survive in a given environment and accepted the possibility of extinction whereas Lamarck believed that it was the effect of use or disuse that would produce changes on body structures and that species would transform but would not die out. We conclude that the relationship between secondary students' ideas and historical views on evolution should be treated more skeptically, given the differences in the historical, social and cultural contexts, and that instruction should focus on students' ideas of need-driven evolution as well as on the role of chance in the evolutionary process.
Descriptors: Student Attitudes, Misconceptions, Evolution, Science Education, Science Instruction, Secondary School Students, Cultural Context, Social Environment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A