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Understanding and Teaching Evolution

University of Bath via FutureLearn


Find out how to teach evolution to 7–16 year olds

How does evolution happen? Can we observe it in real time? How do new species come about and how long does this take?

When you think about evolution, you may think of Darwin, but modern genetics has transformed our understanding of how evolution happens. This course uses this new genetics-centred approach to explain key concepts in our scientific understanding of evolution.

The course starts with the genetics of inheritance and variation, how natural selection and adaptation leads to speciation, followed by macroevolution and geological time, ending with human evolution.

The course is aimed at primary and secondary school teachers, students, parents, and anyone interested in understanding evolution.


  • DNA and Natural Selection
    • Welcome
    • Inheritance and variation
    • Natural selection
  • Adaptation, Speciation and Macroevolution
    • Adaptation
    • Speciation
    • Macroevolution
  • Geological time and Human evolution
    • Geological time
    • Human evolution
    • Teacher Resources
    • Next Steps

Taught by

Laurence Hurst (Educator)


5.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

4.5 rating at FutureLearn based on 15 ratings

Start your review of Understanding and Teaching Evolution

  • Anonymous
    Thank Heaven for this course, just by its existence it deserves 5 stars -- when I was young in Texas... well, even into early 21st century teaching evolution is tricky, with some people associated with a certain GW Bush messing around in Texas & el…

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