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ERIC Number: EJ854163
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-1536-7509
Approaches to Cell Biology Teaching: A Primer on Standards
Tanner, Kimberly; Allen, Deborah
Cell Biology Education, v1 n4 p95-100 Win 2002
The first challenge in designing and teaching any course is to decide what to teach. At most colleges and universities, the process of selecting course content is an extremely local enterprise. Sometimes the decisions are made by a small group of faculty members, but most often they are made by a single professor with the responsibility of teaching the course. The idea that courses are articulated into a meaningful progression for undergraduates may be discussed among faculty members responsible for different courses; however, discussions across divisional boundaries--biology and chemistry, for example-- are rarer. Almost unheard of is agreement across institutions of higher education about what should be taught in all introductory biology courses or all cell biology courses. This level of articulation and alignment across institutions would likely be considered not only an affront to the independent spirit of colleges and universities, but also an impediment to both faculty creativity and integration of new knowledge into course content. This said, all the previously mentioned articulations--across grade levels, across educational institutions, across teachers, and across content areas--are now major driving forces in what is taught to students in K-12 schools. These articulations take the form of what are referred to as standards. Although most scientists have many definitions of the word standard, many are not familiar with standards in K-12 education or aware of the pervasive influence of such standards on everything from curriculum development to testing. This paper discusses science education standards and explores what science content standards for K-12 teachers and students look like by examining one strand of science content--cell biology--across all grade levels. This paper also discusses the benefits and challenges of science content standards, as well as the implications of K-12 science standards for higher education. (Contains 3 tables and links to 4 related websites.)
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: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A