, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 189-195
Date: 12 Feb 2008

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


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.

The material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation: Grant #0635629 to all three authors, #0133446 to the second author, and #0540152 to the third author.