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Bio Ed Research Publication: Model the Use of Evolutionary Trees (MUET)


Yi Kong, a recent science education graduate student, Ankita Thawani, a Neurophysiology graduate student, Trevor Anderson, a biochemistry educator, and Nancy Pelaez published a study in The American Biology Teacher (2017) 79(2): 79-88 which was selected as a Feature Article in the February 2017 Darwin & Evolution theme issue. In this study the authors developed the Model of the Use of Evolutionary Trees (MUET), a conceptual model that characterizes how evolutionary trees were used by professional biologists as represented in their research publications. The development of the MUET was guided by the Concept-Reasoning-Mode of representation (CRM) model as well as a “model of modeling” framework. The MUET was then used to review instructional and assessment material for K-14 classrooms. Future studies with the MUET will inform the development of teaching materials aimed at improving students’ understanding of and learning about evolutionary trees. Yi Kong is now an assistant professor with a focus on science education in the College of Education at Fujian Normal University in Fuzhou, China. At Purdue University, Ankita Thawani is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences, Trevor Anderson is a biochemist and education researcher who investigates Visualization in Biochemistry Education (VIBE) in the Department  of Chemistry, and Nancy Pelaez is a physiologist and the Convener of our Biology Education Area in the Department of Biological Sciences.

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