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Teaching About Evolution And The Nature Of Science

by National Academy of Sciences Staff Joyce L. Vedral Working Group on Teaching Evolution

Today many school students are shielded from one of the most important concepts in modern science: evolution. In engaging and conversational style, Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science provides a well-structured framework for understanding and teaching evolution.Written for teachers, parents, and community officials as well as scientists and educators, this book describes how evolution reveals both the great diversity and similarity among the Earth's organisms; it explores how scientists approach the question of evolution; and it illustrates the nature of science as a way of knowing about the natural world. In addition, the book provides answers to frequently asked questions to help readers understand many of the issues and misconceptions about evolution.The book includes sample activities for teaching about evolution and the nature of science. For example, the book includes activities that investigate fossil footprints and population growth that teachers of science can use to introduce principles of evolution. Background information, materials, and step-by-step presentations are provided for each activity. In addition, this volume:-- Presents the evidence for evolution, including how evolution can be observed today.-- Explains the nature of science through a variety of examples.-- Describes how science differs from other human endeavors and why evolution is one of the best avenues for helping students understand this distinction.-- Answers frequently asked questions about evolution.Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science builds on the 1996 National Science Education Standards released by the National Research Council--and offers detailed guidance on how to evaluate and choose instructional materials that support the standards.Comprehensive and practical, this book brings one of today's educational challenges into focus in a balanced and reasoned discussion. It will be of special interest to teachers of science, school administrators, and interested members of the community.

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