On Saturday 27, 2008 at Nehru Science Centre, a symposium on Evolution Since Darwin was organized by the BASE (Bombay Association for Science Education). The events organized by BASE are attended and conducted by teachers and educationists from Mumbai. This particular event was scheduled on account of 150 years of Darwin’s theory of evolution.
The organizers gave me an opportunity to conduct a concept mapping workshop in two consecutive sessions. In the first session, I did a presentation on concept maps for science education, and the second session was a hands-on session wherein the teachers (in groups) constructed concept maps on the topics of evolution—adaptation, natural selection, speciation, origin of species—from Ernst Mayr’s book on What Evolution is. The teachers really did a good job in constructing the maps. I am going to analyze the maps later and comment on them. Overall the teachers were impressed by the concept mapping technique and I was really happy to know that they were eager to use it in their classrooms.
Later in the afternoon, I was involved in the panel discussion. We were to comment on teachers’ ideas and their concept maps. Lots of issues came along during the discussion, which made us realize that the topic of evolution is not so easy to understand.