SCB612U: AP Biol (2013-2014)
Laboratory Requirement: Students who take this course spend a minimum of 30% of their time engaged in hands-on laboratory exercises.
Major Concepts/Content: AP Biology is a college-level course that differs from a high school Biology course in terms of depth of coverage, the type of laboratory work, and time commitments for study. Course content is organized into four Big Ideas that encompass the core scientific principles, theories, and processes governing living organisms and biological systems. These Big Ideas are: • Big Idea 1: The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life. • Big Idea 2: Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, reproduce, and to maintain dynamic homeostasis. • Big Idea 3: Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes. • Big Idea 4: Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties. Specific topics within each of the Big Ideas can be found on AP Central at http://apcentral.collegeboard.com.
Major Instructional Activities: AP science revisions focus on seven overarching practices that capture important aspects of the work of scientists. Science practices describe the knowledge and skills that students should learn and demonstrate to reach a goal or complete a learning activity. • Science Practice 1: The student can use representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems. • Science Practice 2: The student can use mathematics appropriately. • Science Practice 3: The student can engage in scientific questioning to extend thinking or to guide investigations within the context of the AP course. • Science Practice 4: The student can plan and implement data collection strategies in relation to a particular scientific question. Note: Data can be collected from many different sources, e.g., investigations, scientific observations, the findings of others, historic reconstruction and/or archived data. • Science Practice 5: The student can perform data analysis and evaluation of evidence. • Science Practice 6: The student can work with scientific explanations and theories. • Science Practice 7: The student is able to connect and relate knowledge across various scales, concepts, and representations in and across domains. AP science instruction incorporates any teaching method that encourages students to construct and/or discover knowledge with an understanding of how scientists study the natural world. Teaching using the seven science practices expands beyond lab investigations and field experiments to include classroom experiences, such as scientific model development and revision and peer-to-peer critique of explanations. The approach to instruction may vary for investigations, field experiments, and classroom experiences, depending on the science practices and content being developed, the amount of necessary content or skills scaffolding, the extent of teacher involvement to support that scaffolding, and student readiness.
Major Evaluative Techniques: The AP Biology curriculum provides frequent student-directed opportunities to demonstrate understanding of the underlying content. This includes inquiry-based lab experiences where students design experiments, collect data, apply mathematical routines and methods, and refine testable explanations and predictions. At least two investigations should be conducted per Big Idea. These investigations may take place in the laboratory, during field studies, or in a virtual environment.
Course Objectives: • Develop a conceptual understanding of the major themes of modern biology (evolution, energy transfer, continuity and change, structure and function, regulation, and interdependence) as a vehicle for investigating the concepts, principles, and topics of biology. • Develop and apply science practices that enable students to establish lines of evidence and use them to develop and refine testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena. • Develop skills in communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and commitment to lifelong learning. • Apply an understanding of biological knowledge and scientific methodology to environmental and social issues.
Course Notes: (Unweighted - Did Not Take AP Exam)