Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

Abstract Detail

Yes, Bobby, evolution is real!

Uno, Gordon [1].

If Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution, Why Do We Not Teach That Way?

Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution, is the famous and oft-quoted article by Theodosius Dobzhansky in the American Biology Teacher (1973). His article about the centrality of the theory of evolution in the teaching of biology remains an important clarion call about how we, as instructors, should organize our courses. Most undergraduate faculty would claim that their courses use evolution as a central theme, a claim that is also made in every major biology text for undergraduates. These claims, however, are supported by little evidence, and if one considers the sad state of evolution awareness and acceptance of evolution within American society, then at least some of the instructors of biology and textbooks in our biology courses have failed. From a recent survey, 32% of citizens with a college education answered no to the question, Do you think that the modern theory of evolution has a valid scientific foundation? Among high school biology teachers in the United States, 40% state that there are sufficient problems with the theory of evolution to cast doubts on its validity---and remember, these teachers are trained in undergraduate science and education courses in our colleges and universities. In this part of the symposium, an overview will be presented of a recent Convocation held at the National Academy of Sciences entitled, Thinking Evolutionarily: Evolution Education Across the Life Sciences. This overview will include a discussion of the current state of evolution education in biology courses, including the changes within the redesign of the Advanced Placement (AP) Biology course and the consequences of these changes, the history of the Thinking Evolutionarily project, as well as new directions and programs related to evolution education. One solution for increasing the presence of evolution in undergraduate biology courses is related to the idea of intentionality, as promoted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC & U) in their LEAP initiative. The implementation and implications of being intentional in the design and teaching of a biology course will be discussed using ideas and examples from an Introductory Plant Biology class taught at the University of Oklahoma.

Broader Impacts:

Log in to add this item to your schedule

1 - University of Oklahoma, Department of Botany And Microbiology, 770 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK, 73019, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY04
Location: Grand Ballroom A/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:15 PM
Number: SY04008
Abstract ID:80
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright 2000-2012, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved