Professional Development Course in Evolution

This online professional development course focuses on one of the two pillars of biology, Evolution. The course will cover the main concepts of evolution and explore the mechanisms behind this process.

The objectives of this course are:

  • To revise the basic principles of evolution with the emphasis on updating content knowledge and finding out what the new data tell us about the history of life.
  • To incorporate these ideas into class instruction, keeping on mind linear progressions and developmental appropriateness, from middle school through high school.
  • To write lesson plan units that can be use in class and in accordance with NGSS and the goals of STEM education.


Why a course on evolution: Everybody has an idea of evolution even if it is only intuitive. In teaching some tend to avoid it because of the lack of a solid understanding of evolutionary processes, because it may lead to issues that has nothing to do with Biology or because there is no a clear way to incorporate evolutionary ideas into class instruction. We can only teach something if we really grasp the concept. If we understand evolutionary processes, we can explain why some observations from bacteria can be use to study human physiology and disease, how organisms depend on their specific habitat, what is the history behind extinct and extant organisms, what is the interrelation between oceanic plankton and food chain, and many other things.


The course structure is as follow:

  • Mini-lectures will be posted in the Owlet each week. This is the only aspect of the course that will be available to all Owlet subscribers.
  • Supportive information in the form of papers, video clips, etc. will be posted via the forum “Evolution”
  • The week’s topic for discussion, main ideas, a pedagogical technique to use in constructing lesson plan, and the prompt will be posted the previous week so that the participants have material to work with in the online session.
  • Each online session will start on Mondays and continue throughout the week in an asynchronous forum.
  • Dates: July 13- September 30 (12 weeks)
  • Register soon!