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1 May 2016 Tree-Thinking: A Response
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Abstract

We respond to the preceding commentary (Brower, 2016) regarding our “Inquiry & Investigation” articles (Davenport et al., 2015a, b) published recently in this journal. Our two articles describe a pair of activities, informed by biology education literature and national standards documents, whose primary goal is to help teachers assist introductory students in evaluating basic evolutionary datasets. In this short response to Brower's critique, we acknowledge that our activities, which address the complex field of systematics, contain simplifications and inaccuracies. At the same time, we hold that the activities are grounded in careful pedagogical decisions that allow students in general biology courses to readily understand major features of phylogenetic trees. We also argue that the design of the activities allows students to experience firsthand a vital component of the nature of science: prioritizing data when formulating a claim.

© 2016 National Association of Biology Teachers. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press's Reprints and Permissions web page, www.ucpress.edu/journals.php?p=reprints.
K. D. Davenport, Kirstin Milks, and Rebecca Van Tassell "Tree-Thinking: A Response," The American Biology Teacher 78(5), 385-388, (1 May 2016). https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2016.78.5.385
Published: 1 May 2016
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