Katie LaCommare: Challenges of Teaching Natural Selection

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The Birmingham Temple / Center for Secular Humanism

28611 West Twelve Mile Rd · Farmington Hills, MI

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Between Inkster & Middlebelt, across from the cemetery.

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The theory of evolution by natural selection is simple, elegant and profound. Yet, a large number of undergraduate students including biology majors, medical students and pre-service science teachers maintain a large set of misconceptions that interfere with a solid understanding of the process of natural selection (see Gregory 2009, for a review). Deep-rooted human cognitive biases and/or insufficient instruction often lead to incorrect premises and misconceptions (Ghelman and Rhodes 2012, Gregory 2009) that are difficult to over-turn. Dr. LaCommare will talk about the challenges of learning and teaching natural selection and why it matters.

Dr. Katherine LaCommare is a lecturer in Biology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She teaches introductory biology as well as ecology, conservation biology and environmental science. She teaches both majors and non-majors and is interested in student understanding of core concepts in evolution: natural selection and tree-thinking. She holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Purdue University and the University of Massachusetts-Boston, respectively.

Meet, Greet & Eat 12:30-1
Feminist Humanist Alliance meeting 2:10-3:10