Evolution education in secondary education has long been a topic of research. The level of knowledge and acceptance of students upon entering college has been studied using various methods; however, no study had provided the perception of preparedness from the student perspective nor had analyzed the individual Natural Selection principles. This study analyzed college freshmen (n=162) in an entry-level BIO 101 course. Participants were given the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection Instrument (CINSI) and perception survey questions upon completion of the course. The CINSI data was then analyzed for each of the four Natural Selection principles as well as overall evolution concept and analyzed against the level of preparation students perceived they had received in high school biology for those areas. The study had five research questions; four regarding each Natural Selection principles, then a fifth regarding evolution as an overall concept. Of the five hypotheses, four were accepted with statistical significance, using Wilcoxon sign-ranked test. The only rejected hypotheses was regarding reproductive success principle of Natural Selection. This study concluded that students do not perceive themselves to be well-prepared in high school biology and that, while they averaged a failing grade on each principle and overall concept of the CINSI, there are certain principles they do perform better on than others. Recommendations and limitations are also discussed.
Year manuscript completed
Year degree awarded
evolution, natural selection, perceived preparedness, variation, inheritance, overproduction, reproductive success
Dissertation Committee Chair
Dr. Justin Brogan
Dr. Justin Brogan
Dr. Melissa Chapman
Dr. Brian Parr
Bell, Amy, "AN EVALUATION OF COLLEGE PREPAREDNESS ON NATURAL SELECTION PRINCIPLES FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF AN ENTRY-LEVEL BIOLOGY COURSE" (2021). Murray State Theses and Dissertations. 228.
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