ERIC Number: EJ1085659
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Points of View: Content versus Process--Is This a Fair Choice? Undergraduate Biology Courses for Nonscientists: Toward a Lived Curriculum
Wright, Robin L.
Cell Biology Education, v4 n3 p189-196 Fall 2005
"Points of View" addresses issues faced by many people within the life sciences educational realm. This issue addresses the question "What should a biology student know?" The author argues for focusing on skill over content when teaching nonmajors biology, with the foundation of his argument being that literacy in any field implies that an individual has the potential for deeper learning in that field. Literacy is not committing a particular set of facts to memory, but the ability to use resources to find, evaluate, and use information in a manner that reflects that field. Rather than focusing on covering key facts or principles, a lived curriculum in nonmajors biology focuses on helping students learn to use scientific knowledge to solve relevant problems. Content mastery emerges naturally as students seek out, evaluate, and organize the information they need to develop an informed understanding about an issue such as the genetics of race, stem cell research, or invasive species.
Descriptors: Undergraduate Study, Biology, Nonmajors, Course Content, Behavioral Objectives, Educational Needs, Scientific Literacy, Science Education History, Science Curriculum, Evaluation Methods, Course Descriptions, Educational Strategies, Educational Practices
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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