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dc.contributor.advisorAbell, Sandra K.en_US
dc.contributor.advisorFriedrichsen, Patricia J.en_US
dc.contributor.authorHalverson, Kristy Lynnen_US
dc.date.issued2009en_US
dc.date.submitted2009 Summeren_US
dc.descriptionTitle from PDF of title page (University of Missouri--Columbia, viewed on September 15, 2010).en_US
dc.descriptionThe entire thesis text is included in the research.pdf file; the official abstract appears in the short.pdf file; a non-technical public abstract appears in the public.pdf file.en_US
dc.descriptionDissertation advisor: Dr. Sandra K. Abell and Dr. Patricia Friedrichsen.en_US
dc.descriptionVita.en_US
dc.descriptionIncludes bibliographical references.en_US
dc.descriptionPh. D. University of Missouri--Columbia 2009.en_US
dc.descriptionDissertations, Academic -- University of Missouri--Columbia -- Curriculum and instruction.en_US
dc.description.abstractRepresentations are critical tools for visualizing complex scientific knowledge. However, there is limited research investigating how students gain representational competence in biology, specifically in evolution. In evolutionary biology, phylogenetic trees are generated to represent evolutionary relationships among taxa. Unfortunately, these trees are not well understood by students. In this study, I used open-ended student responses from pre/posttests, interviews, reflective journal entries, field notes, and course assessments to learn how 27 upper-level undergraduate students enrolled in a plant systematics course used phylogenetic trees and developed tree thinking skills. I identified a) 10 approaches students used to interpret phylogenetic trees and 5 criteria used to compare representations; b) 8 alternative student generated representations and that some students were not able to generate any representation to illustrate a given phylogenetic scenario; and c) improvements in students' overall tree thinking, with greater improvement in tree reading than tree building. During the course, students were exposed to 3 instructional interventions to improve their tree thinking skills. I identified 16 core skills necessary for students to develop competence in tree reading and tree building. I proposed 7 levels of representational competence (Levels 0-6) based on these core skills. This empirical framework for representational competence in tree thinking will inform the design of evolution curriculum and maximize the instructional potential of using phylogenetic representations.en_US
dc.format.extentxvi, 292 pagesen_US
dc.identifier.oclc696016145en_US
dc.identifier.otherHalversonK-110609-D336en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10355/9678
dc.publisherUniversity of Missouri--Columbiaen_US
dc.relation.ispartof2009 Freely available dissertations (MU)en_US
dc.relation.ispartofcommunityUniversity of Missouri-Columbia. Graduate School. Theses and Dissertations. Dissertations. 2009 Dissertations
dc.subject.lcshPlants -- Classificationen_US
dc.subject.lcshScience -- Study and teaching (Higher)en_US
dc.subject.lcshCladistic analysisen_US
dc.subject.lcshPhylogeny -- Data processingen_US
dc.titleInvestigating the development and use of phylogenetic representations by college undergraduates in a plant systematics courseen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineLearning, teaching and curriculumen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineLearning, teaching and curriculumeng
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Missouri--Columbiaen_US
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.namePh. D.en_US


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