OpenEvo: Teaching evolution as an interdisciplinary science


The project aims to create an open, networked and interdisciplinary evolution education research community.

Expanding on the Global ESD educational design concept, the OpenEvo project focuses on developing basic educational research and development infrastructure to support a more open, networked and interdisciplinary evolution education research community.

The aims of the OpenEvo project are to:

  • advance open science practices in evolution education research
  • advance networked improvement science in evolution education research
  • advance interdisciplinary approaches in human evolution education and educational research
  • support undergraduate, masters and PhD students’ thesis work


Basic information

Country: Germany, Switzerland

Coordinator: MPI-EVA, Department of Comparative Cultural Psychology,


Programme: Other

Project Acronym:

Target groups: education authorities, general public, researchers, secondary school students, teachers, trainee teachers, university students, university lecturers

Topic: Anthropology, Applied sciences, Biology, Ecology, Education

Start year: 2019


Contact person: Dustin Eirdosh, dustin.eirdosh (at)

The project has led to the creative commons publication of A Teacher's Guide to Evolution, Behavior, and Sustainability Science. Additionally, four academic articles frame conceptual clarification, classroom research examples, and future research directions for teaching evolution as an interdisciplinary science.


Humans are a highly cooperative species, and yet, the biggest problems facing our planet are largely the result of our inability to work together. How can teachers engage students in this apparent paradox?

The second edition of the Global ESD creative commons publication, A Teacher's Guide to Evolution, Behavior, and Sustainability Science, provides educators with an interdisciplinary road map to understanding the origins, development and flexibility of our uniquely elaborated human capacities to cooperate around things that matter.

Produced as part of our work at the Department of Comparative Cultural Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, in Leipzig, Germany, the guide is a fun and resource-packed document that can help teachers from across traditional subject areas come together around understanding what makes us human, and how our understanding of our species impacts our views on social change and the challenges of planetary sustainability.

The guide is provided open access, on the creative commons, and is not just an introduction to the fascinating interdisciplinary sciences of human cooperation, but also contains practical teaching supports to help students develop conceptual understanding across traditional subject areas.

The guide is available here:

SOMR available to any teacher, Ministry of Education, STEM expert during the current COVID-19 lock-down period:

Read the instructions!



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