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Reading topologies: A study of students' understanding of relationships displayed in trees

Presented as part of the symposium, "Teaching phylogenetics at introductory undergraduate and pre-college levels" at the Evolution Meetings
Fairbanks, AK. June 10-14, 2005

Symposium Chairs: David Baum, Sam Donovan

Full listing of Symposium     Symposium PDF

This presentation will describe the results of research into how students interpret branching diagrams and the importance of this skill for other aspects of evolutionary reasoning.

Teaching the tree of life: What is tree thinking and why is it important for understanding evolutionary biology?

Presented as part of the "Tree of life" panel in the symposium, "Evolutionary science and society: Educating a new generation" at the National Association of Biology Teachers Meeting
Chicago, IL. November 10-13, 2004

Panel Chair: Christopher Haufler

Symposium information from AIBS       Book information from AIBS

Tree thinking involves adopting a phylogenetic perspective when reasoning about patterns in biological phenomena. This presentation will provide an overview of the importance of tree thinking for making sense of the unity and diversity of life and identify areas where students have difficulties working with trees.


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University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260.