Presentation by Dr. Louise Mead and Dr. Alexa Warwick


Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm


133F Erickson Hall

Title: ConnectedBio curriculum: three-dimensional learning from molecules to populations

Abstract: Students are often taught evolution isolated from genetic and cellular mechanisms. In reality, a complete understanding of evolution requires knowledge spanning many biological sub-disciplines and levels. To address this issue, the ConnectedBio project team (MSU, Concord Consortium) is developing a set of technology-enhanced lessons for high school biology that meet national science standards. We hypothesize that thoughtfully integrating the practices of science with disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts will support students’ development of a network of connected biological concepts that students can use to make sense of evolutionary phenomena. We use the evolutionary phenomena from the previously developed Evo-Ed cases as the basis for the curriculum. Here we present our curriculum development work to date, some initial survey data on student explanations of evolutionary change across levels of biological organization, and plans for evaluating student conceptual models during Spring 2019 curriculum piloting.

Bios: Louise Meade is an evolutionary biologist with a broad range of teaching and administrative experience.  Louise started her career as a high school science teacher and then earned a PhD in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Massachusetts.  She spent four years as the Education Project Director for the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), and is currently the Education Director at the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, holds an adjunct appointment in Integrative Biology, teaches undergraduate biology and evolution, and is leading two education-related projects - Collaborative Research: Scientific Data in Schools: Measuring the efficacy of an innovative approach to integrating quantitative reasoning in secondary science; Collaborative Research: Connected Biology: Three-dimensional learning from molecules to populations.

Louise has published her scientific work in Evolution journals such as Evolution and Trends in Ecology and Evolution, and her education research in CBE Life Sciences and Evolution: Education and Outreach. She has also served as a science content and education consultant.

Alexa Warwick is a postdoc in the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action at MSU. Her research areas include developing and evaluating educational materials to support science teaching and learning at the K-16 levels, primarily focused on evolution education. She also coordinates a variety of outreach and diversity initiatives and conducts research in amphibian ecology, evolution, and conservation. She received her Ph.D. in biology from Florida State University in 2016 and is currently the primary postdoc on an NSF-funded project developing high school biology curriculum.