“Tracking the Course of
Evolution” is a smash hit!

On March 11 and 12, UCMP hosted its fifth annual short course, Tracking the Course of Evolution. The event was co-sponsored by Orville and Ellina Golub and the California Science Teachers Association. Over 90% of the 200 or so course participants were K-16 teachers, interested in gaining (1) a greater understanding of evolution, (2) new insights into the teaching of evolution, (3) a clearer idea of how science differs from religion, and (4) the opportunity to share thoughts and concerns with colleagues.
Saturday provided the chance to listen to a series of stimulating lectures on topics ranging from the origins of life to systematics and human evolution. This was followed by a panel discussion, the opportunity for questions, and finally the chance for more casual conversation during a reception. Sunday’s workshop provided more time for conversations focusing on the differences between belief knowledge and research knowledge and the chance to participate in a series of classroom activities in support of major concepts of evolution.
Anne's activity
Anne Monk (right), a teacher in San Francisco, leads a workshop called “It Takes Time.”
  Allen's activity
Allen Collins (left) leads a workshop called “Fun with Phylogenetics” at the Tracking the Course of Evolution short course in March.
See the short course website for program details.
The entire weekend was stimulating for presenters and participants alike. Comments from teachers included:

“I found this workshop very informative and enlightening. The professors were dynamic speakers, clearly interested in their subjects. The other presenters were also excellent, offering many helpful suggestions that can be used in the classroom.”

“I was pleasantly surprised to experience such open-mindedness. One of the greatest challenges we face with high school students is the number of misconceptions about religion and science. I was grateful to walk away with some ideas about setting up a unit to bring down the walls that go up at the very mention of evolution.”

Front page Next