Teaching Controversial Issues 2: Evolution of Life and Earth

Saturday October 18, 2013, Vancouver, BC
Geological Society of America Annual Meeting

Evolution and Earth history are rife with controversy, which provides challenges and opportunities for teaching. This is one of two connected courses on controversial issues that may be taken separately or together. Questions addressed include: Why are certain issues controversial? How do controversial issues differ from one another? How can we help learners focus on deepening understandings rather than fortifying positions? What does the history of controversy teach us about dealing with these issues? Both courses will investigate the teaching of controversial issues from theoretical perspectives and provide nuts-and-bolts strategies to make teaching such topics more effective and less divisive.

1:00 PM Introductions
1:15 PM Teaching with Controversy: The Role of the History and Philosophy of Science
Glenn Dolphin, University of Calgary
2:00 PM Evolution
Rob Ross, Cornell University
2:30 PM Break
2:40 PM Ocean Science
Laura Guertin, Penn State Brandywine
3:20 PM Know Your Audience: The Role of Worldview and Cognitive Biases
Don Duggan-Haas, Paleontological Research Institution and its Museum of the Earth and Rob Ross, Cornell University
3:50 PM Panel Discussion
4:50 PM Concluding Remarks / Evaluation