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Evolution Education

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

Evolution Education is building a new model for K-12 professional development based on teacher participation in scientific discovery through teacher workshops, field research, and classroom projects.

Evolution Education is a project organized by the Cox Lab in the Department of Biology at the University of Virginia. We are evolutionary biologists and educators who advocate for real collaborations between scientists and teachers to develop new, inquiry-based models for education in (and out of!) the middle- and high-school science classroom. Our program is based on three core principles:

  • K-12 science education is failing to teach evolution unequivocally as a central principle in biology

  • Students learn science best by doing actual science

  • Teachers become more effective educators when they participate in authentic scientific research

Beyond our lab group, Evolution Education is comprised of a network of collaborators in science and education that includes biologists from several universities, as well as public and private education specialists. Our funding comes primarily from the National Science Foundation, which supports both our research and our teacher workshops and fellowships. We award fellowships to outstanding teachers with a goal of developing long-term collaborations in which teachers participate as adjunct lab members and their classrooms have the rare opportunity to learn science by participating in the process of discovery.

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