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dc.contributor.advisorAbell, Sandra K.eng
dc.contributor.advisorFriedrichsen, Patricia J.eng
dc.contributor.authorHalverson, Kristy Lynneng
dc.date.issued2009eng
dc.date.submitted2009 Summereng
dc.descriptionTitle from PDF of title page (University of Missouri--Columbia, viewed on September 15, 2010).eng
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.eng
dc.descriptionDissertation advisor: Dr. Sandra K. Abell and Dr. Patricia Friedrichsen.eng
dc.descriptionVita.eng
dc.descriptionIncludes bibliographical references.eng
dc.descriptionPh. D. University of Missouri--Columbia 2009.eng
dc.descriptionDissertations, Academic -- University of Missouri--Columbia -- Curriculum and instruction.eng
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.eng
dc.format.extentxvi, 292 pageseng
dc.identifier.oclc696016145eng
dc.identifier.otherHalversonK-110609-D336eng
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10355/9678eng
dc.publisherUniversity of Missouri--Columbiaeng
dc.relation.ispartof2009 Freely available dissertations (MU)eng
dc.relation.ispartofcommunityUniversity of Missouri-Columbia. Graduate School. Theses and Dissertations. Dissertations. 2009 Dissertationseng
dc.subject.lcshPlants -- Classificationeng
dc.subject.lcshScience -- Study and teaching (Higher)eng
dc.subject.lcshCladistic analysiseng
dc.subject.lcshPhylogeny -- Data processingeng
dc.titleInvestigating the development and use of phylogenetic representations by college undergraduates in a plant systematics courseeng
dc.typeThesiseng
thesis.degree.disciplineLearning, teaching and curriculum (MU)eng
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Missouri--Columbiaeng
thesis.degree.levelDoctoraleng
thesis.degree.namePh. D.eng


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