Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Improving evolution education at zoos and museums

Many zoo and museum exhibits go out of their way to avoid using the word "evolved" in the text describing the exhibits. Commonly used terms are "developed", "acquired" and "emerged". The text in the photo above mentions "one theory". I wonder what that theory might be? I guess they don't want to offend their more sensitive visitors.

Colin Purrington is trying to improve science education at zoos and museums. He has 12 suggestions to get evolution back into exhibit texts.

I like this idea: If you take your class on field trips to these places, design an exercise that charges your students with designing more interesting, evolution-based plaques. If you have a digital camera, you can take pictures of the existing plaques for use back in the classroom. Then get your students to send the ideas (slickly packaged) to the director of the place you visited. The students will enjoy being simultaneously engaged in both science and social change.

There is a lot of great stuff in Purrington's evolution outreach pages.

No comments:

Post a Comment