The goal of this group will be to identify factors that hinder or help children's (and their parents') acquisition of basic health concepts, particularly of genetics, evolution, and biology, and to use this framework to develop targeted learning experiences (1) that advance children's and their parents' grasp of the relationship between biology and health (2) that provide health-care givers with tools that would help them convey health concepts to their clients, and (3) to use this information to improve health-related decision making in the US public.
This topic covers key science and health content with broad implications for the public understanding of science, in particular the health sciences. As has been widely reported, scientific principles are either poorly understood or actively resisted; moreover, systematic research on the learning impact of diverse objects and contexts is virtually absent. In the delivery of health care a key and poorly understood issue is non-compliance with health-related directives. This research group will address these gaps at multiple levels from basic research on concept formation to the development of targeted informal and formal learning experiences. The interdisciplinary focus of CHGD makes such a group possible.