EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium
Volume 6, Issue 1, 2014
Evolutionary studies in higher education: Interdisciplinarity and student success
Glenn Geher, Rosemarie Sokol-Chang, & Jennifer Waldo
The field of Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) stands at a significant junction. On one hand, the field has demonstrated the ability to serve as a model for a truly interdisciplinary approach to higher education (see Garcia, Geher, Crosier, Saad, Gambacorta, Johnsen, Pranckitas, 2011, for an example). This said, evolutionary approaches outside certain areas of biology proper have, in fact, been met with a great deal of skepticism and academic mistrust. In three discrete sections, the current work seeks to demonstrate that EvoS comprises a powerful academic framework that effectively integrates the ideas of so many academic areas – enhancing educational outcomes in many areas within biology and beyond. Further, this work seeks to demonstrate the broad reach of EvoS in terms of student success, partly by summarizing outcomes of a recent NSF grant designed to expand EvoS’ reach. As part of the work of this grant, approximately a dozen student research teams conducted research across several disciplines, leading to many presentable (and, in some cases, publishable) papers that reflected very high levels of quality. A final section of this work addresses controversies in the field of evolutionary studies, such as the controversies that surround evolutionary psychology (which focuses on applying evolutionary principles to issues of human behavior), and how such controversies are frequently presented in straw-man ways. This final section seeks to show how developing a sophisticated understanding of the different facets of these issues may serve a conciliatory and progressive role in the future – to allow the powerful ideas related to evolution positively affect all academic areas across the ivory archipelago (Wilson, 2007).
How to cite this article:
Geher, G., Sokol-Chang, R., & Waldo, J. (2014). Evolutionary studies in higher education: Interdisciplinarity and student success. EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium, 6(1), 5-11.