Andrew J. Petto
Andrew J. Petto
Senior Lecturer
Science Education, Evolution Education, and Gross Anatomy

A.B., Middlebury College, 1972
M.A., Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1979
Ph.D., Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1986

Office: Lapham N203

CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
Phone: 414-229-6784
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FAX: 414-229-3926
Personal Homepage

Research Interests

Over the past 20 years, my professionals interests have evolved to the question of scientific literacy and science education. The main goal is to promote the understanding of the nature and process of scientific inquiry as a context for all the factual information that scientific research generates. My research in science education has focused on understanding how science teachers are motivated to continue their own education and to introduce new ideas, activities, and interests to the students in their classrooms. I have also worked to understand how students learn science, and in particular how they come to understand the evolutionary theory that is at the foundation of modern biology.

My research interests are in the area of the use of animal models for understanding general biological structure and function, particularly as applied to human gross anatomy and movement. I am also interested in mathematical modeling of population ecology, particularly applying demographic models to the study of primate life history evolution.

Selected Publications

Petto AJ, Mead LS. Overcoming obstacles to evolution education: misconceptions about the evolution of complexity. Evolution Education and Outreach [in press].

Petto SG, Petto AJ. The potential DaVinci in all of us: Integrated learning in the arts and the sciences. The Science Teacher [in press].

Petto AJ. Media Review of Complexity: The Cassiopeia Project. Reports of the National Center for Science Education Reports of the National Center for Science Education [in press]

Petto AJ. Continuity and change: The bioanthropological perspective. Teaching Anthropology: SACC Notes 2008; 22–30, 34.

Petto AJ. In: Schroeder CM, Ciccone A, eds. Making an Impact on Student Learning: Teaching and Assessing with a Purpose. Milwaukee (WI): Center for Instructional and Professional Development, 2007, p 37–47.

Petto AJ, Godfrey LR, eds. Scientists Confront Creationism, revised edition. New York: WW Norton; 2007.

Petto AJ, Godfrey. Why teach evolution? in Petto AJ, Godfrey LR, eds. Scientists Confront Creationism, rev. edition. New York: WW Norton, 2007. p 404–41.

Petto AJ. Book Review of The Plausibility of Life. Kirschner MW, Gerhart JC. McGill Journal of Education 2007; 42(2): 319–21.

Petto AJ. Evolution 101: Finding a solid introduction. Book Review of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Evolution Horvitz LA, Kher U; and Evolution: A Very Brief Introduction. Charlesworth B, Charlesworth D. Reports of the National Center for Science Education 2006; 26(5–6):50–51. Also available online.

Petto AJ, Patrick M, Kessel R. Emphasizing inquiry, collaboration, and leadership in K–12 professional development. In: Yager C, ed. Exemplary Science: Best Practices in Science Teaching Today. Reston (VA): National Science Teachers' Association, 2005. pp. 147–60.

Petto AJ. Nature and Design. Anthropology News 2005 Dec; 46(9): 4.

Petto AJ, Russell KD. Practicing anthropology on the frontiers of humanity: Interspecies applied anthropology. Practicing Anthropology.1998; 20(2): 26–9. Reprinted in The Best of Practicing Anthropology, 1999.