Dealing with evolution misconceptions
Week 10 Discussion Questions over Online Session 6
1. Think about
the students you have taught over the years. What are their common
misconceptions about evolution? For each misconception, identify what is the
"correct" explanation. Include misconceptions students in Mr. class=SpellE>Bingman's and Ms Havlik's classes
2. What are the
most promising strategies for uncovering students' prior knowledge and changing
student misconceptions? What is essential about Ms. Havlik's
sequence of activities and questions. Explain
important ideas about lesson design, instructional strategies, and the physical
3. Give examples
of QUESTIONS used to assist student thinking, challenge student explanations,
and suggest further study.
When you are
ready to write your essay, you may find the Video Segments and External Web
Links listed under session 6 resources especially helpful.
Additional Source Materials
How People Learn
- National Research Council. How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and
School. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2000 href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/educators/course/session6/explore_a_pop1.html">http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/educators/course/session6/explore_a_pop1.html
Discussion Questions over Online Session 7
1. Where would
you put Mr. Bingman's, Ms. Havlik's,
and Ms. Chen's lessons on the continuum for each of the five essential features
Explain why. What specific elements of the lessons led you to make these
2. What is the
role of inquiry in teaching for understanding?
3. What are the
advantages and disadvantages of usin g simulations to teach evolution? What
might you include in a debriefing for these activities?
4. Give examples
of questions used to assist student thinking, challenge student explanations,
and suggest further study. What questions would you ask to help students
increase their understanding of the evolution content?
style='mso-spacerun:yes'> 1. What evidence of student
learning/understanding is there in student work in Mr. Bingman's
class? Why do you think that?
style='mso-spacerun:yes'> 2. What techniques work to reveal how
students think about their learning?
style='mso-spacerun:yes'> 3. What misconceptions have you identified?
What is the "correct" explanation?
style='mso-spacerun:yes'> 4. How can one change students'
understandings about misconceptions?
yes'> 5. What did you see in students' work that
was interesting and surprising?
You've seen many
examples of students' misconceptions about evolution and two teachers'
approaches to dealing with them. Use the notes you've taken to analyze,
organize, and summarize the inaccuracies, incomplete knowledge, and
misconceptions students have about evolution. Then summarize and evaluate Mr. class=SpellE>Bingman's and Ms. Havlik's
Write your essay
using a word processor to take advantage of the spell check/grammar and word
count functions. Pay attention to the CPR word limit (300 to 600 words). Be
brief and make your points in as few words as possible.style='mso-spacerun:yes'>
appropriate HTML bracket codes before copying and pasting your text into CPR at
Identify examples of misconceptions students have about evolution.
Understand how assessment strategies are integrated into inquiry-based science lessons.