Tiziano Trevisan1, Elisabetta Piva2, Sophia Schumann3, Sara Pacchini4, Paola Irato5, Gianfranco Santovito6*

1Dr, University of Padova, ITALY, titrev1@yahoo.it

2Dr, University of Padova, ITALY, elisabetta.piva.2@studenti.unipd.it

3Dr, University of Padova, ITALY, sophia.shumann@studenti.unipd.it

4Dr, University of Padova, ITALY, sara.pacchini@studenti.unipd.it

5Dr, University of Padova, ITALY, paola.irato@unipd.it

6Prof, University of Padova, ITALY, gianfranco.santovito@studenti.unipd.it

*Corresponding author



The present research compares the results obtained by using two different methods of instruction in teaching Darwin’s evolution theory: laboratory activities and traditional lessons based on textbooks. We built up a teaching path on evolution using laboratory activities, to highlight how the main concepts of this theory (selection, adaptation, variability, inheritance, case, time) can be handled also by doing, interacting, and cooperating, in other words by “putting students' thinking into action”. This path does not refer to a real scientific laboratory (meaning a physical space with materials and instruments) but to an educational laboratory, “poor” and characterised by limited time activities. Widening the definition of laboratory allows teachers to create active and informal learning contexts, exploiting educational resources supplied by those centres which promote both culture and knowledge, as well as by specific events organized in the scientific network. Every activity has been planned to explain one or more of the main themes, using the following methods: economy of ideas, logical consistency, introductory value, and scientific accuracy. The experimental groups were third-year students attending secondary school. A questionnaire was used before and after the course, to assess students’ acceptance and understanding of evolution. With both methods results highlighted relevant differences in understanding concepts, in religious-based questions and scientific facts regarding evolution. Moreover, the comparison of answers obtained using either the traditional or the laboratory method shows several differences. In particular, the percentage of students accepting and understanding the evolution theory is much higher in those who participated in laboratory lessons. In conclusion, it can be assumed that, in teaching evolution, lessons proposing scientific experiments through active and practical activities are much more effective than lessons based on school books and frontal methods. Thus, a teaching path based on interaction and cooperation of students in a scientific laboratory is to be considered more successful.

Keywords: education, evolution, teaching, workshop activities


DOI: https://doi.org/10.51508/intcess.202332

CITATION: Abstracts & Proceedings of INTCESS 2023- 10th International Conference on Education and Education of Social Sciences, 23-25 January, 2023, Istanbul, Turkey

ISBN: 978-605-72065-0-3