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ERIC Number: ED299120
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Jul-31
Reference Count: N/A
Restructuring Introductory Biology According to the Learning Cycle Instructional Strategy.
Granger, Charles R.
Because of a consistently high failure rate of freshmen in a required introductory biology course, numerous strategies to improve the success rate of students without compromising academic standards were explored. The major underlying cause of lack of success was perceived to be the level of thinking skills possessed by the incoming freshman. The level of thought, concrete, transitional or formal, was highly correlated to the degree of success for each student. It was proposed to develop curriculum materials based on the learning cycle instructional strategy that is founded on Piagetian learning theory. Laboratory experiences were rewritten to provide concept exploration and lecture materials were developed for concept introduction. The course was restructured so that exposure to concrete experiences in the laboratory leading to concept formation occurred first and verbalization of the formal concept followed through the formal lecture and discussion. Involvement with the restructured program increased the success rate, resulted in reduced dropouts and increased the overall morale and self-image of the students. This document contains project overviews, background, a project description, and results. Appendices, which make up the bulk of the document, include: (1) background information for Foundations In Problem Solving Education (FIPSE); (2) an example of FIPSE materials for the biology course; (3) a sample lecture outline; (4) a reprint of a journal article discussing the project; and (5) project evaluation and experimental data. (CW)
Descriptors: Biological Sciences, Cognitive Processes, College Science, Course Content, Course Descriptions, Higher Education, Instructional Materials, Introductory Courses, Learning Processes, Piagetian Theory, Program Descriptions, Program Design, Program Development, Science Education, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Researchers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Missouri Univ., St. Louis. Coll. of Arts and Science.