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Educational potential of teaching evolution as an interdisciplinary science

Authors
  • Hanisch, Susan1, 2, 3, 4
  • Eirdosh, Dustin1, 3, 4
  • 1 Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany , Leipzig (Germany)
  • 2 University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany , Leipzig (Germany)
  • 3 Global ESD, Elkins Park, USA , Elkins Park (United States)
  • 4 EvoLeipzig, Leipzig, Germany , Leipzig (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Evolution: Education and Outreach
Publisher
Springer US
Publication Date
Dec 04, 2020
Volume
13
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s12052-020-00138-4
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Evolution education continues to struggle with a range of persistent challenges spanning aspects of conceptual understanding, acceptance, and perceived relevance of evolutionary theory by students in general education. This article argues that a gene-centered conceptualization of evolution may inherently limit the degree to which these challenges can be effectively addressed, and may even precisely contribute to and exacerbate these challenges. Against that background, we also argue that a trait-centered, generalized, and interdisciplinary conceptualization of evolution may hold significant learning potential for advancing progress in addressing some of these persistent challenges facing evolution education. We outline a number of testable hypotheses about the educational value of teaching evolutionary theory from this more generalized and interdisciplinary conception.

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