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ERIC Number: EJ1156697
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1539-2422
Using History and Philosophy as the Capstone to a Biology Major
Haave, Neil C.
Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching, v43 n1 p3-11 May 2017
Capstone experiences have high educational impact with a number of approaches for biology. In most capstones, students produce a major project, typically as an undergraduate research experience, with a primary goal to integrate students' learning. At Augustana, our senior biology capstone uses history and philosophy to frame students' reflections and to integrate their biological education within our liberal arts and sciences curriculum. In a flipped classroom approach, students write a response to the assigned reading before class, when the paper is discussed through student-led seminars. Assigned papers consider the philosophy and historical development of biology focusing on its three conceptual pillars: function, development, and evolution, allowing students to examine how biologists arrived at their current understanding of life. Assessment of ten years of course offerings indicates students' ability to write and speak are being successfully developed, but that thinking shows no significant learning gains between the midterm and final exams. Student quantitative and qualitative ratings of the course indicate that it is a valuable learning experience, despite its heavy workload and difficult nature.
Association of College and Biology Educators. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A