Teaching Evolution in Higher Education
Brian J. Alters, Craig E. Nelson 2002 Evolution v56 no10 p1891-1901
This article starts by discussing the high percentage of the American public that report themselves as Creationists (~45%) despite their schooling and then points out that few Americans learn even the basics of science. The problem, the authors argue, is that science is usually taught in a non-interactive lecture format from which students generally learn very little. Additionally, students enter the classroom with a variety of prior conceptions (generally misconceptions) about evolution that they tended to retain, even when lectures included information that contradicted those beliefs. The authors recommend teaching evolution using constructivist approach (getting students to describe their prior beliefs and then test them), interactive lectures, and concept mapping for assessment.