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Teaching Evolution in Primary School

The PEAR Lab is working with communities around the world to develop University-Assisted Community School models in which, students of higher education support innovative approaches to teaching evolutionary studies in primary schools, as well as middle and secondary schools. 

Offered below is a road map to the limited existing literature specifically on the topic of teaching evolution to primary school students.
Berti, AE, Toneatti, L, Rosati, V (2010). Children’s conceptions about the origin of species: a study of Italian Children’s conceptions with and without instructionThe Journal of the Learning Sciences,19, 506–538

Casler, K., & Kelemen, D. (2005). Young children's rapid learning about artifacts. Developmental Science, 8(6), 472-480. 

Chanet, B, & Lusignan, F (2009). Teaching evolution in primary schools: an example in french classroomsEvolution: Education and Outreach2, 136–140.

Hermann, R. S. (2011). Breaking the cycle of continued evolution education controversy: On the need to strengthen elementary level teaching of evolution.Evolution: Education and Outreach4(2), 267-274.

Horwitz, P., McIntyre, C. A., Lord, T. L., O’Dwyer, L. M., & Staudt, C. (2013). Teaching ‘Evolution readiness’ to fourth gradersEvolution: Education and Outreach6(1), 21.

Kelemen, D. (1999). The scope of teleological thinking in preschool children. Cognition, 70(3), 241-272.

Kelemen, D. (1999). Function, goals and intention: Children’s teleological reasoning about objects. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 3(12), 461-468.

Kelemen, D. (2003). British and American children's preferences for teleo-functional explanations of the natural world. Cognition, 88(2), 201-221.

Kelemen, D. (2004). Are children “intuitive theists”? Reasoning about purpose and design in nature. Psychological Science, 15(5), 295-301. 

Kelemen, D., & DiYanni, C. (2005). Intuitions about origins: Purpose and intelligent design in children's reasoning about nature. Journal of Cognition and Development, 6(1), 3-31.

Kelemen, D., & Carey, S. (2007). The essence of artifacts: Developing the design stance. Creations of the mind: Theories of artifacts and their representation, 212-230.

Kelemen, D., Emmons, N. A., Schillaci, R. S., & Ganea, P. A. (2014). Young children can be taught basic natural selection using a picture-storybook interventionPsychological science25(4), 893-902.

Marshall, P. J., & Comalli, C. E. (2012). Young children's changing conceptualizations of brain function: implications for teaching neuroscience in early elementary settings. Early Education & Development23(1), 4-23. 

Nadelson, L, Culp, R, Bunn, S, Burkhart, R, Shetlar, R, Nixon, K, Waldron, J (2009). Teaching evolution concepts to early elementary school students. Evolution: Education and Outreach4, 267–274.

National Research Council (2007). Taking science to school. Learning and teaching science in grades K-8. Washington, DC: National Academy. OpenURL

National Research Council (2011). A framework for k-12 science education: practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Washington, DC: National Academy. OpenURL

Padovani, V., Buckler, C. S., Gualtieri, A. F., & Vescogni, A. (2013). To teach is to learn: high-school students, local university and informal science educators collaborate in communicating science to the public. Evolution: Education and Outreach6(1), 1-5.

Paul, A.M. (2012) What Kids Should Know About Their Own Brains. KQED. (http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2012/04/what-kids-should-know-about-their-own-brains/)

Prinou, L, Halkia, L, Skordoulis, C (2011). The inability of primary school to introduce children to the theory of biological evolutionEvolution: Education and Outreach4(2), 275–285.

Sickel, A. J., & Friedrichsen, P. (2013). Examining the evolution education literature with a focus on teachers: major findings, goals for teacher preparation, and directions for future researchEvolution: Education and Outreach6(1), 23.

Smith, M. U. (2010). Current status of research in teaching and learning evolution: II. Pedagogical issues. Science & Education, 19(6-8), 539-571.

Wagler, R. (2010). A missing link: K-4 biological evolution content standards.Evolution: Education and Outreach3(3), 443-450.Publisher Full Text OpenURL

Wagler, R. (2010). The Association between Preservice Elementary Teacher Animal Attitude and Likelihood of Animal Incorporation in Future Science CurriculumInternational Journal of Environmental and Science Education5(3), 353-375.

Wagler, R. (2012). Assessing “the framework” for kindergarten through fifth grade biological evolution. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 1-5. Publisher Full Text OpenURL