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Evolution ChallengesIntegrating Research and Practice in Teaching and Learning about Evolution$
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Karl S. Rosengren, Sarah K. Brem, E. Margaret Evans, and Gale M. Sinatra

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199730421

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730421.001.0001

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Walking Whales and Singing Flies

Walking Whales and Singing Flies

An Evolution Exhibit and Assessment of Its Impact

(p.389) 17 Walking Whales and Singing Flies
Evolution Challenges

Judy Diamond

E. Margaret Evans

Amy N. Spiegel

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes Explore Evolution, an influential exhibit developed for university museums in Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas with support from the National Science Foundation. Researchers intensively studied the exhibit’s impacts on visitor reasoning about evolution, and they gained new insight into how exhibits can influence visitor understanding of complex ideas. The research uncovered a significant finding: a single visit to the Explore Evolution exhibit improved visitors' ability to explain evolutionary problems. This significant, if incremental, change was seen across the participants, regardless of age, differing religious beliefs or prior knowledge. Moreover, visitors realized that evolution occurred regardless of the nature of the organism. Explore Evolution’s inclusion of diverse organisms helped visitors recognize that evolution occurs in all living things.

Keywords:   university museum, exhibit, diverse organisms, insight, explain evolution, visitors

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