Tree Reasoning in Evolution Education (TREE)

Date18-Oct-2007 ~ 20-Oct-2007
SummaryInstitute: University of Pittsburgh

Type: Working Group

Project: Tree Reasoning in Evolution Education (TREE)

Summary: Preliminary efforts to assess students’ understanding of phylogenetic
concepts and interpretation of tree representations have shown that tree reasoning skills are difficult to grasp and apply. A community of approximately fifty people is already working in this area, including several well known evolutionary biologists. The initial focus will be on building a database for the evolutionary biology research and teaching communities which will contain assessment materials, results from previous work, and interventions. The information in the database will be used to develop a strong, uniform assessment tool for the communities to use. Data from use of this tool will be used to write a paper and to develop intervention tools. Researchers will be asked to contribute case studies with datasets and tools for tree thinking modules. The group intends to write an NSF Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement proposal to support rigorous assessment of the intervention tools.
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