Murray State Theses and Dissertations

Abstract

Abstract

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

2021

Year degree awarded

2021

Author's Keywords

evolution, natural selection, perceived preparedness, variation, inheritance, overproduction, reproductive success

Dissertation Committee Chair

Dr. Justin Brogan

Committee Chair

Dr. Justin Brogan

Committee Member

Dr. Melissa Chapman

Committee Member

Dr. Brian Parr

Document Type

Dissertation

Available for download on Saturday, January 22, 2022

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