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Perceptions of the Concept of Evolution among Undergraduate Biology Students
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
2014 (English)In: EARLI Special Interest Group 9. Phenomenography and Variation Theory: Disciplinary knowledge and Necessary Conditions of Learning, University of Oxford, 2014, 15-15 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The concept of evolution is central to biology. As empirical and natural phenomena, evolution and evolutionary processes constitute the primary study objects for a number of disciplines within the biological field of study. Furthermore, the concept comprises the fundamental cornerstone in the theoretical framework, the theory of evolution, which is assumed to unite all of the life sciences. It may therefore be worthwhile to attempt to describe in detail what conceptional variations in the understanding of the term that may exist among students in biology. In this study, written responses were collected from students attending the Bachelor Programme in Biology at Uppsala University during 2012. The responses were subjected to a reading aimed at elucidating qualitatively different categories of understanding and the interrelationship of these categories. The theoretical underpinnings of this reading have been inspired by hermeneutics and theoretical developments of phenomenography. The findings outline qualitatively different notions of the concept of evolution that ranges from definitions of an isolated entity to more sophisticated evaluations that reveal an interest in discussing the limits and validity of evolutionary explanations within and outside the scientific domain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Oxford, 2014. 15-15 p.
Keyword [en]
phenomenography, hermeneutics, higher education, biology studies, evolutionary concept
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-233032OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-233032DiVA: diva2:750409
EARLI SIG 9, Regent's Park College, University of Oxford

Acknowledges funding from: Centrum för ämnesdidaktisk forskning inom matematik, ingenjörsvetenskap, naturvetenskap och teknikvetenskap (MINT) at Uppsala University

Available from: 2014-09-29 Created: 2014-09-29 Last updated: 2014-10-02Bibliographically approved

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