One of the major outcomes of the Evolution Challenges project is an edited volume published by Oxford University Press, titled Evolution Challenges: Integrating Research and Practice in Teaching and Learning about Evolution. The editorial team, led by Karl Rosengren, worked with authors from many backgrounds to produce this volume, which provides a broad, transdisciplinary look at the different types of obstacles that arise when we try to teach or learn about evolution. Nineteen chapters in all, we hope that it will help both researchers and practitioners to better understand why teaching and learning about evolution can be a struggle, but a rewarding one.
The book goes beyond the science versus religion dispute to ask why evolution is so often rejected as a legitimate scientific theory, focusing on a wide range of cognitive, socio-cultural, and motivational factors that make concepts such as evolution difficult to grasp. The volume brings together researchers with diverse backgrounds in cognitive development and education to examine children's and adults' thinking, learning, and motivation, and how aspects of representational and symbolic knowledge influence learning about evolution. The book is organized around three main challenges inherent in teaching and learning evolutionary concepts: folk theories and conceptual biases, motivational and epistemological biases, and educational aspects in both formal and informal settings. Commentaries across the three main themes tie the book together thematically, and contributors provide ideas for future research and methods for improving the manner in which evolutionary concepts are conveyed in the classroom and in informal learning experiences. Evolution Challenges is a unique text that extends far beyond the traditional evolution debate and is an invaluable resource to researchers in cognitive development, science education and the philosophy of science, science teachers, and exhibit and curriculum developers.