Teaching evolution to children

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

I wrote the other day about the opening of Bath's new Milner Centre for the study of evolution, and noted the presence of schoolchildren in the Centre on the day.

It turns out that 120 students from three schools in Melksham (my local town) were there and the local paper provided details of what they got up to.   They:

  • made frogspawn beads
  • learn how sharks smell
  • met owls
  • learned about how birds adapt to their environment.
  • made tribolites from salt dough to understand adaptation
  • measured variation in hand size across the class to show variation
  • illustrated geological timescales using toilet paper

The invitation was extended, the paper said, in order to allow children to test out practical lesson ideas to be used by teachers.

I've never taught evolution to anyone and so I'm rather stuck at trying to make sense of what went on – apart from the meeting owls, of course, which youngsters of all ages seem to like.  I'm also relying on a brief 2nd hand account.  I did wonder whether they'd consulted any science education experts about best practice.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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