SCB401: Biology (2011-2012)
CURRICULUM PROGRAM: Science
COURSE TITLE: Biology
CALENDAR YEAR: 2011-2012
GRADE LEVEL: 9-12
COURSE LENGTH: 36 weeks
Laboratory Requirement: Students who take this course spend a minimum of 30% of their time engaged in hands-on laboratory exercises. Demonstrations and virtual laboratories, while useful in the classroom, do not count toward the 30% laboratory requirement.
Major Concepts/Content: Biology is designed to provide students with an integrated approach to the study of living organisms, in addition to science as inquiry, science & technology, science & social perspectives, and the history & nature of science. The course integrates unifying science concepts and processes of systems, order & organization, evidence, models & explanation, change, consistency & equilibrium; and form & function.
Scientific inquiry and understanding about inquiry are emphasized through practical implications and meaningful applications across the essential objectives listed below.
Major Instructional Activities: Scientific inquiry is defined as the diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on the evidence derived from their work. Scientific inquiry also refers to the activities through which students develop knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, as well as an understanding of how scientists study the natural world (NSTA, 2004). Based on the philosophy that scientific knowledge is best acquired through inquiry, the course uses a variety of techniques to promote and inquiry in the classroom (ex. multiple revisions, high quality questioning, synthesis, making conclusions based on evidence, etc).
Instructional activities are staged in appropriate settings. They include laboratories, classrooms, forms of technology, and field studies. Teaching strategies include in depth laboratory investigations, demonstrations, collaborative peer-to-peer discussions, and student hands-on experiences.
Major Evaluative Techniques: All aspects of progress in science are measured using multiple methods such as authentic assessments, performance assessments, formative assessments, observational assessments, projects, research activities, reports, group and individual student work and conventional summative assessments.
Course Objectives: Upon completion of Biology, students should be able to:
- Engage in full and partial scientific inquiries to design, conduct, and communicate scientific investigations to explore ideas about the natural world.
- Use scientific inquiry to design and conduct scientific investigations to meet a human need, make a decision, solve a human problem, or develop a product.
- Recognize and describe the interrelationship between science and technology.
- Apply the tools of technology (e.g., computers) in scientific endeavors.
- Identify qualities inherent in scientific behavior (e.g., reasoning, insight, energy, skill, and creativity).
- Discuss contributions of men and women of various social and ethnic backgrounds to science and technology.
- Apply science concepts to make decisions (weighing risks and benefits) about students' personal health and well-being.
- Understand that the cell is the basic unit of structure and function in living organisms.
- Know that characteristics of organisms are specified in DNA, and changes in DNA lead to variation.
- Explain that species evolve over time through the process of natural selection.
- Describe how ecosystems are interactions of organisms with biotic and abiotic factors in the environment.
- Identify that living organisms are complex and highly organized, requiring energy and matter to maintain this organization.