Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


This action research project developed an updated and expanded curriculum unit on the theory of evolution. The activities and assessments that were selected and designed for the curriculum followed the instructional theories of backward design and constructivism. Working as a community of learners, high school students were empowered to engage in experimentation, innovation, discovery, and problem solving as they participated in a series of lab activities designed to help them gain new understandings of the theory of evolution. The success of the unit was evaluated by looking at student work and assessing student levels of understanding, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Since modern biology is based on the concepts of evolutionary theory, understanding evolution is an important goal for the biology curriculum, and it prepares students for making informed decisions in the 21st century. This curriculum unit, with its focused lesson plans and annotated bibliography of resources, is a valuable resource for any biology teacher seeking to help students understand the foundation of modern biology.


Thesis (M.A.) Teacher Education Department