• Michael Reiss
  • Ute Harms
Knowledge and understanding of evolution are generally poor. Yet evolution is foundational to the science of biology. Here, we review the contributions made by the other chapters in this book and suggest ways forward for the field. The chapters in this book demonstrate that knowledge and understanding of evolution are aided by the sorts of pedagogical approaches that are known to work well in other areas of science education and beyond. In particular, there is evidence that the appropriate use of teaching for metacognition, multimodal approaches, argumentation, inquiry-based science education, reinforcement of learning, context-based learning, models, intercultural dialogic approach and object-based learning can all help promote learning about evolution. To this list, we can add that teacher expertise is of great importance. In addition, as the chapters in this book show, there are some reasons for optimism as the biology education community is gradually building up a corpus of knowledge about what works well when teaching specific aspects of evolution. Nevertheless, one of the conclusions of this book is that there is much that still remains to be done in researching evolution education; we know more about the problems that learners have in acquiring a good understanding of evolution that about how to help them so acquire this. While there are an increasing number of research-based interventions in evolution education that are leading to greater conceptual understanding, the curriculum and pedagogical approaches that these interventions draw on are rarely ones that are robustly established. Furthermore, we still lack consensus about the best instruments for measuring cognitive gains and there is a paucity of longitudinal studies. Overall, the field of evolution education, while perhaps no longer in its infancy, still has a long way to go before it matures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvolution education re-considered : Understanding what works
EditorsUte Harms, Michael J Reiss
Number of pages13
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International
Publication date29.07.2019
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-14697-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-14698-6
Publication statusPublished - 29.07.2019

    Research areas

  • Evolution education, Science education research, Biology education

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