Understanding Evolution goes public

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The University of California Museum of Paleontology, in partnership with the National Center for Science Education, is pleased to announce a new comprehensive website on evolution developed especially for teachers. Its purpose is to provide content and resources for teachers at all grade and experience levels in order to facilitate the teaching of evolution. The site was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and was developed by a team of scientists, graduate students, and teachers working together to respond to the needs of K–12 teachers.
The first part of the site, Exploring Evolution, focuses on enriching or upgrading content knowledge for all teachersˇan informal on-line course. Learning is self-paced and includes an engaging form of self-assessmentˇfacing a classroom of children, hands raised, questions ready (top right). Exploring Evolution includes six sections:

  1. Evolution 101 discusses the history of life, as well as the evolutionary mechanisms responsible for that history.
  2. Nature of Science discusses what science is and is not.
  3. Lines of Evidence focuses on how investigations of evolution work like those of any other science, relying on multiple lines of evidence.
  4. A History of Evolutionary Thought reconstructs the history of the acquisition of scientific knowledge (bottom right).
  5. Relevance of Evolution explores the importance of evolution to society, focusing on concerns of health, welfare, and economics.

  Quick Quiz page
One of the Quick Quizzes provided for teachers to assess their learning. Clicking on a student reveals their question.
History of Evolutionary Thought page
In the History of Evolutionary Thought section (above), one can first zoom in on a portion of the “tree,” and then jump to a page (or pages) on any of the big ideas that led to today’s interpretation of the evolution of life.
  1. Misconceptions identifies the most common misconceptions about evolution and offers explanations to correct those misconceptions.

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