Monday, June 1, 2009

Teaching evolution

OK, so I am kinda in denial about this CA thing in general and it's making me a horrible procrastinator. Anyone out there who has taught Evolution (or even taken it) do you have a text you would either recommend or warn against?



Sparkling Squirrel said...

No advice here, but I'm pushing for adding an evolution class here and will look forward to learning from your experience.

Beth said...

Into the Jungle by Sean Carroll is good and I think he's got a textboook that goes with it. Also, Ridley et al can be dense. What level course? Gould's Book of Life could be good for a non-majors class with additional promary source books.

Tucson Trekker said...

It's a 300 level course, but the usual prof keeps warning me that the students don't understand texts well (he's used Futuyma and others I guess -- don't know which).

Jenny said...

I have not taught an evolution class but can pass on what I have heard from others. When J.P. (who studied Bufo) taught a summer class at KU she used Stearns and Hoekstra's "Evolution: an introduction." She had good things to say about it, and chose it because she felt it was more user-friendly than the Futuyma book.
When I had evolution as an undergrad, we read Futuyma. I disliked this when studying (lots to read before a test) but appreciated that I could often find the answers to questions that arose from the gaping holes in the lectures.
(complete side note: the professor who taught the segment on macroevolution was abysmal. But Jennifer was the TA for that class and did a really excellent job filling in the blanks and also handling the delicate situation of dealing with really frustrated students at review sessions.)

Sparkling Squirrel said...

I second Beth's thought: Into the Jungle is excellent (there's a review on my blog from January), although it's not something I would want to base a class on.

Jennifer said...

Hi Anna,
Ridley is more approachable than Futuyma. There is a new book out that I have from the publisher, but it is at school and I am at home. I will let you know tomorrow. I think by the time students are in a 300 level class, they should know how to read textbooks. As we think about redoing our curriculum to have a stronger focus on evolution, we were are considering using Ridley for first and second year students.