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ERIC Number: EJ823016
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-1931-7913
Making Biology Learning Relevant to Students: Integrating People, History, and Context into College Biology Teaching
Chamany, Katayoun; Allen, Deborah; Tanner, Kimberly
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v7 n3 p267-278 Fall 2008
Teaching students to make connections between what they learn in the classroom and what they see in everyday life is imperative. As biology instructors, they may choose to teach biology devoid of social context, believing that students can make these connections on their own. However, students model their instructors' behaviors, and follow their lead. If biology instructors integrate social issues into the biology curriculum, they model social responsibility for biology majors, and they demonstrate the need for biological literacy for nonmajors. With an ever expanding biology curriculum, some instructors may wonder how they will find space to bring in social issues, and what biological content may be omitted in the process. This article discusses how to integrate people, history, and social context into college biology teaching. It first demonstrates the important connection between biology and social issues, and then examines how the history of biology can be used to infuse relevance into the biology curriculum. The article also demonstrates how familiar biological topics, such as sickle cell anemia, gene regulation via the lac operon, and energetics can be presented within their social contexts. These examples are followed by a summary of large-scale efforts and tables listing resources to assist instructors in this integration process. (Contains 2 figures and 3 tables.)
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; E-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A