“Evo in the News:” Understanding evolution and students’ attitudes toward the relevance of evolutionary biology

Lynn M. Infanti, Jason R. Wiles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This investigation evaluated the effects of exposure to the “Evo in the News” section of the Understanding Evolution website on students’ attitudes toward biological evolution in undergraduates in a mixedmajors introductory biology course at Syracuse University. Students’ attitudes toward evolution and changes therein were measured using the Evolutionary Attitudes and Literacy Survey. We employed a quasi-experimental design with pre-test/post-test comparison wherein an experimental group was assigned pre-laboratory work using “Evo in the News” articles while a control group was assigned similar pre-lab work without exposure to “Evo in the News.” At the conclusion of the semester, the experimental group showed significant improvement in their perceptions of the relevance of evolution to understanding real-world scientific problems and to their daily lives while the control group did not. Incorporating “Evo in the News” activities into an introductory biology course is a cost-effective and non-labor-intensive way to expose students to ongoing, practical science research based on evolutionary theory. This study supported the hypothesis that exposure to real-world applications of evolutionary theory such as those featured in “Evo in the News” is correlated with increases in students’ attitudes toward evolutionary science, particularly with regard to their perceptions of its relevance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-13
Number of pages5
JournalBioscene
Volume40
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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