Before beginning a series of presentations on evolution, it would be prudent to survey the general level of students’ understanding of prerequisite basic concepts of reproduction, heredity, ontology, and phenotypic diversity so that teachers can avoid devoting time to well-known subjects of general knowledge and can spend more time on subjects that are unknown, forgotten, or misunderstood by most students. This article outlines a Socratic method for surveying and teaching to address these concerns.

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