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  The Journal of Effective Teaching
an online journal devoted to teaching excellence


Journal of Effective Teaching, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2009  

Bruce, K. E., Horan, J. E., Kelley, P. H., & Galizio, M. (2009). Teaching Evolution in the Galápagos. The Journal of Effective Teaching, 9(2), 13-28. [Full Text]


Experiential learning can be an effective way to teach many concepts, and evolution is no exception. We describe the pedagogical techniques, class structure and learning objectives, travel logistics, and impact of three undergraduate honors-level experiential learning seminars that combined teaching topics related to evolution with a field trip to the Galápagos Islands. One class took place in Spring 2002 focusing on animal behavior, biodiversity, and evolution (13 students), and the other two were held in Spring 2009, with one seminar focusing on international environmental policymaking (3 students) and the other on how the natural history of the Galápagos influenced the development of Darwin’s thought (7 students). Qualitative comments from students illustrate both short and long term impact of the class on learning about evolution.


Keywords: Evolution, Galápagos, experiential learning, honors curriculum.