Original Science/Evolution Review

Evolution: Education and Outreach

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 189-195

First online:

Changing Minds? Implications of Conceptual Change for Teaching and Learning about Biological Evolution

  • Gale M. SinatraAffiliated withUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas Email author 
  • , Sarah K. BremAffiliated withArizona State University
  • , E. Margaret EvansAffiliated withCenter for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan

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Learning about biological evolution presents particular challenges for students. Barriers to learning come in the form of students’ prior conceptions that conflict with the scientific perspective of biological change. Theory and research from developmental and educational psychology provide insight into these barriers. Helping students understand evolution is not simply a matter of adding to their existing knowledge, but rather, it means helping them to see the world in new and different ways. Theoretical perspectives on creating change in students’ conceptions have implications for teaching about biological evolution.


Evolution education Conceptual change Learning Teaching Evolution misconceptions