BIOS 1700                              Life Science for Non-Majors          Spring 2014

 

Instructor:                                                                                           Class Meets:

Robert Kagumba                                                                                 MW 8:00-10:20 a.m.

email: robert.kagumba@wmich.edu                                                    Wood Hall 1414

phone: (269) 903-6465

Office: 3243 Wood Hall                                                                     

Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays, 10:30-11:00 a.m. in Wood 1408 and by appt.     

 

Chris Duchesneau                                                                   MW 10:30 am -12:50 p.m.

email: christopher.d.duchesneau@wmich.edu                        Wood Hall 1414

phone: (269) 387-5338

Office: Cubicle opposite 3145 Wood Hall                                                                

Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays, 10:00-10:30 a.m. in Wood 1408 and by appt.     

 

Kate Rowbotham                                                                                MW 1:00-3:20 p.m.

email: kate.l.block@wmich.edu                                                          Wood Hall 1414

phone: (269) 387-5338

Office: 1408 Wood Hall                                                                     

Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays, 12:30-1:00 p.m. in Wood 1408 and by appt.      

 

Course Description:

"This is a laboratory-lecture-based content course for non-majors that provides a comprehensive overview of the life sciences (taxonomy, anatomy and physiology, ecology and evolution). The course is taught by inquiry using a series of open-ended problem solving environments, many of which have been developed with reference to the history of biology, to encourage critical thinking and insight into the nature of science as an intellectual activity." (WMU Undergraduate Course Catalogue: Course Descriptions)

 

Course Rationale

Under state accreditation guidelines elementary education programs are required to prepare future elementary teachers to teach science and mathematics at the K-8 level. BIOS 1700 is one of six science content courses offered under the direction of the Mallinson Institute for Science Education that count towards an elementary science concentration. It has been specifically designed to prepare future teachers to teach biology at the K-8 level with reference to state and national benchmarks for scientific literacy.

 

In BIOS 1700 we will explore how scientists study phenomena in the biological sub-disciplines of taxonomy, anatomy & physiology, ecology and evolution. In addition to learning content, this course has also been developed to help participants become self-reflective about how people learn biology and the implications of these reflections for teaching practice. (Methods regarding how to teach science in the K-8 classroom are taught in a separate course, ED 4010 Teaching Elementary School Science.) The course has also been developed as a broad survey of the biological sciences for students pursuing other careers.

 

Required Texts/Materials:

A course pack (Rudge, D.W. (2011) BIOS 1700 Life Science for Elementary Educators I) is available from Dollar Bill Copying. To order, visit www.dollarbillcopying.com. The fastest and easiest way to find it is by BIN #, which is how course packs are cataloged. Type "5511" into the Product Search field.  Be sure to click "Search" as opposed to hitting "Enter"; the function will only work properly if you do this. Your BIOS 1700 course pack should be the only item that results. You can also browse by course abbreviation, course number, instructor, or course title. Proceed with your order by completing the shipping and billing fields. Select USPS complimentary shipping for no additional charge. If you have any trouble, the course pack can also be ordered by phone at 877-738-9200. 

 

Course Goals for BIOS 1700

Students will:

1)    understand why it is important for children to learn biology;

2)    learn about biology by doing biology rather than reading about it;

3)    be able to reflect upon the nature and practice of biology as a process rather than a body of disconnected facts to be memorized;

4)    be better able to make decisions concerning what concepts in biology are the most important for children to learn; and,

5)    reflect upon how they themselves learn biology and the implications of these reflections for how it should be taught.

 

Course Objectives for BIOS 1700

By the end of this course, students will:

Š      re. Goal 1, be familiar with national and state benchmarks for science literacy in the context of taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, ecology and evolution;

Š      re. Goals 2 and 3, conduct independent biological research in which they (a) identify a problem for study, (b) develop an appropriate design for their investigation, (c) collect, analyze and interpret their results, and (d) make a poster presentation to their classmates;

Š      re. Goal 3, be able to describe fundamental tenets of the nature of science and the nature of inquiry within the discipline of biology (e.g. role of observation and inference, empirical basis, role of creativity, validity of claims, multiple methods, among others);

Š      re. Goal 3, be able to relate current science activities and historical science episodes in support of their views of nature of science and scientific inquiry;

Š      re. Goals 3 and 4, be familiar with some of the fundamental concepts, developments, and reasoning strategies used in taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, ecology and evolution such that they are able to solve problems by reasoning as biologists would in these sub-disciplines in open ended problem solving environments using computer simulations, other class activities and discussions, and also background readings;

Š      re. Goal 4, be able to diagram how key concepts in the biological sub-disciplines of taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, ecology and evolution are related to one another using concept maps and also intelligently use them in the solving of exam problems;

Š      re. Goal 5, become familiar with common misconceptions children have about concepts and processes in the sub-disciplines of taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, ecology, and evolution with reference to background readings.


The following Certification Standards for Elementary Teachers Adopted by the Michigan State Board of Education (8 Jan 2008) are addressed in this class. (See your course pack for a detailed description of how these standards are addressed and evaluated.)

 

No.

Guideline/Standard

1.2

Science

Candidates know, understand, and use fundamental concepts in the subject matter of science – including physical, life, and earth/space sciences – as well as concepts in science and technology, science in personal and social perspectives, the history and nature of science, the unifying concepts of science, and the inquiry processes scientists use in discovery of new knowledge to build a base for scientific and technological literacy.

 

Candidates will know and demonstrate an understanding of how to teach:

1.2.1

How new scientific knowledge is constructed so that all students use inquiry to: learn about the world; design and conduct investigations using appropriate methodology and technology; learn from books and other sources of information; communicate their findings using appropriate technology; and reconstruct previously learned knowledge;

1.2.2

Reflecting on scientific knowledge, which includes analytical thinking and reflective practices about claims for scientific merit, explanations by scientists as to what constitutes scientific knowledge, how science is related to other ways of knowing, and how scientifically literate students can describe the limitations of their own knowledge in general;

1.2.2.1

An understanding of the interconnectedness of all science specialties, along with major unifying themes, and to relate this understanding to the teaching of science;

1.2.2.2

Applied mathematics, including basic descriptive statistics, to investigations in the sciences, including the collecting and analysis of data;

1.2.2.3

The relationship of scientific study to contemporary, historical, technological, and societal issues and to relate the concepts of science to current controversies;

1.2.2.4

Skills to locate appropriate resources, design and conduct inquiry-based, open-ended scientific investigations, interpret findings, communicate results, and make judgments based on evidence;

1.2.3

The use of scientific knowledge in Life Science so that learners use their knowledge to understand the world around them and to guide their actions to become scientifically literate. (Important types of activities that use scientific knowledge include description and explanation of real-world objects, systems, or events; prediction of future events or observations; and the design of systems or courses of action that enable people to adapt to and modify the world around them);

1.2.3.1

An understanding of cells, functioning as single cells and in multi-cellular organisms;

1.2.3.2

The use of classification systems to describe groups of living things; compare and contrast differences in the life cycles of living things; investigate how living things obtain and use energy; and analyze how parts of living things are adapted to carry out specific functions;

 

1.2.3.3

Investigation skills and explanations of how characteristics of living things are passed on through generations; why organisms within a species are different from one another;

1.2.3.4

How scientists construct and scientifically test theories concerning the evolution of species; compare ways that living organisms are adapted (suited) to survive and reproduce in their environments; and analyze how species change through time;

1.2.3.5

How parts of an ecosystem are related and how they interact; how energy is distributed to living things in an ecosystem; how communities of living things change over a period of time; how materials cycle through an ecosystem and get reused in the environment; and analyze how humans and the environment interact;

 

Instructional Methods and Activities

BIOS 1700 meets two times a week, for 2 hours and 20 minute lab sessions. It has a different format than what many of you may have come to expect from previous experiences that identify teaching with lecturing and learning with memorization. Instead of having your instructor learn the material for you and being evaluated by how well you recall what your instructor told you, you will be expected to take responsibility for your own independent learning.

 

The class features lectures, class discussions and multiple opportunities to work in small groups that invite you to figure out how to solve problems on your own with assistance from your instructor. Most assignments will likewise require you to learn material on your own or in teams. Demonstrating your mastery of both the course material and your ability to become an independent learner will include presentations of the results of your two major assignments to fellow class members. While this is not a methods class, the point of this avowedly constructivist environment is to role model how you will be expected to teach science in a K-8 setting.

 

References and Resources

Course web site: http://homepages.wmich.edu/~rudged/1700.html

 

Course requirements

Students will be evaluated on the basis of attendance and participation, homework assignments, a reflection essay, four exams and two projects as follows:

 

Name of assignment

Graded

No. of points

A. Attendance and Participation

Individual

    50

B. Homework

Individual

  100

C. Reflection Essay

Individual

    50

D. 4 Unit Exams

Individual

  400 (100 pts. each)

E. Outside Projects

Pair

  200 (100 pts. each)

 

Attendance and Participation: Starting with the second class, attendance will be taken during all remaining classes (other than exam dates). A total of 20 such attendances out of 22 possible will count towards your lab attendance and participation grade, so if you miss a lab, you will have a chance to make it up from the remaining two lab sessions. Each lab is worth 2.5 points for a total of no more than 50 pts.

 

Homework: As indicated on page 7 of the syllabus, nearly every class has a homework assignment of some sort. Up to 10 of 13 written homework assignments (worth 10 points each) will count towards the homework grade, for a total of no more than 100 points. A summary list of written homework assignments that count for credit and when they are due is provided on page 8 of the syllabus. 

 

Reflection essay: Directions for a reflection essay will be passed out during the first week of class. 

 

Unit Exams: Practice problems of the sort you will encounter on exams are included in the course pack and will be assigned as homework to be reviewed in class. A lab practicum will count up to 20 pts of the Anatomy and Physiology Unit exam score.  (Note: Dates of exams as listed on the schedule below are subject to change.)

 

Outside projects: You will work with a partner on two outside projects during the courses of the term: The Student Conceptions Assignment and the Plant Investigation Assignment. Directions will be handed out in class (please disregard the directions in the course pack). The grading rubric for each is included in the course pack. Note both projects involves submitting a proposal-points will be deducted from your project grade if your initial proposal is not submitted by the deadline.

 

Point totals for attendance and participation, homework assignments, the reflection essay, exams and outside projects will be posted on our course website once they are available. Contact your instructor by email to receive your student number.

 

Final Grades:

Points accumulated above will be weighted as follows:

 

 

Weight

Total possible

Attendance + Participation  (50)

x 1

50

Homework (100)

x 1

100

Reflection Essay (50)

x 1

50

Exams (400)

x 2

800

Projects (200)

x 1

200

 

 

1,200

 

Final grades will be determined by dividing the total number of points the student has accumulated by the end of the term by 12.

 

Grading rubric

A:        93-100                                                 BA:     88-92

B:        83-87                                                   CB:      78-82

C:        73-77                                                   DC:     68-72

D:        63-67                                                   E:         62 or less

Policies and Procedures

Cell phones and lap top computers

Your instructor understands you may have other things going on in your life. But as a matter of courtesy to your classmates and instructor, please set your cell phone to vibrate so as to avoid needlessly disrupting our class.  If you need to take a call or send a text during class, please go out into the hall to do so.  Students who send or read text messages during class will not be awarded attendance points for that day’s class. Please also refrain from using lap top computers during class under any circumstances. It is both visually and audibly disruptive to our learning environment, even if the person uses headphones.

 

Email:

The only email address that should be used for communication between WMU students and WMU faculty and staff is the email address associated with a BroncoNet ID.  This email address typically takes the form "firstname.middleinitial.lastname@wmich.edu."  An example is buster.h.bronco@wmich.edu.  Students cannot automatically forward

email from this address to other addresses.  Students can access this email account or get

instructions for obtaining a BroncoNet ID at GoWMU.wmich.edu.

 

Students with Special Needs:

Students with disabilities or other special needs who need special accommodations in this course are invited to share these concerns or requests with the instructor as soon as

possible.

 

Attendance and participation:

Attendance and participation in lab activities is required of all students. More importantly, the discussions and group activities scheduled for class times are an essential part of your professional preparation. Make up classes are not available. If a student knows in advance of a schedule conflict with a class session, he/she should inform the instructor in advance. If a student misses a class session due to illness or unforeseen circumstances, it is the student's responsibility to contact the instructor before the next scheduled class session. The student must make arrangements with the instructor to turn in any missed assignments or catch up on class activities.  Additionally, students are advised that because texting during class negatively affects their ability to participate in class and distracts other students, students who text during class will not receive attendance/participation points for that day’s class.

 

Late Policy

A penalty of 20% will be taken from scores associated with reflection essays or outside projects submitted after the due date. No credit will be given for items turned in more than one week late or after the end of term.

 

Make up exam policy

Students who anticipate they will miss an exam should contact their instructor prior to the exam to schedule when a make-up will take place. Students unable to take an exam for unforeseen circumstances must contact their instructor within a week to schedule a make up exam—otherwise the exam grade will be recorded as a 0 and no make up will be possible. Students taking make-up exams must provide their instructor with documentation regarding the legitimacy of their excuse for missing the original exam date. A substantial penalty (10% of the total exam score) will be deducted for unexcused absence at either exams or make-up exams. All make-up exams must be completed

within two weeks of the original exam date.

 

Academic Honesty

You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the WMU Undergraduate Catalog that pertain to Academic Integrity (Academic Policies: Student Rights and Responsibilities: Student Academic Conduct). These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity and computer misuse. If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs. You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with the instructor if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the

submission of an assignment or test.

 

Student Evaluations:

This course will be evaluated using the on-line ICES system during the last two weeks of the term, i.e. Apr 7-18, 2014. You will receive a reminder about this with instructions that will be sent by WMU’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness to your WMU email account. Your instructor will not have access to your responses until after final grades are submitted, so please feel free to be candid.

 

Extra Credit Policy:

As noted above, during the last two weeks of class you will receive one or more messages reminding you to fill out an ICES evaluation for this course. Your instructor has the ability to monitor how many students have filled out the on-line form, but not who has filled it out or what their answers are. If 70% or more of the students in your lab section complete the ICES student evaluation form for your section of this course, all student grades for your section will be raised by one percentage point.


Revised Revised Schedule Spring ’14 (27 Jan 2014)

Week

Lab Class

  Date

Topic

1

1

W Jan 8

Introduction to the Course, The Silver Box and Concept Mapping

2

2

M Jan 13

What is Life? [Review of Chapter 1 problems], Review of Directions for

the Student Conceptions Project

 

3

W Jan 15

Classifying Living Things, [Review of Chapter 2 problems]

3

-

M Jan 20

Martin Luther King Jr. Day – no class

 

4

W Jan 22

Two Faces of Science, [Review of Chapter 3 problems]

4

5

M Jan 27

Cancelled due to Weather

 

6

W Jan 29

Unit 1 Exam

5

7

M Feb 3

Animal Life Cycles and Observations of Pieris rapae

 

8

W Feb 5

Histology/Sheep Heart Dissection I, [Review of first four Chapter 4 even

numbered additional problems]

6

9

M Feb 10

Sheep Heart Dissection II

 

10

W Feb 12

Sheep Heart Dissection III

7

11

M Feb 17

Student Conceptions Project Presentations, Introduction to the Plant

Investigation Project

 

12

W Feb 19

Plant Life Cycles and observations of the life cycle of Brassica rapa & Plant Anatomy, [Review of remaining Chapter 4 even numbered

problems]

8

13

M Feb 24

Unit 2 Exam (including lab practicum)

 

14

W Feb 26

Mystery Pellet/Ecology Concept Map. Planting of Brassica.rapa

9

-

Mar 3-7

Spring Break

10

15

M Mar 10

Energy Flow in Communities

 

16

W Mar 12

NetLogo: Population Dynamics – sunlight, algae, sunfish, [Review of first

five Chapter 5 even numbered additional problems]

11

17

M Mar 17

Material Cycling in Ecosystems

 

18

W Mar 19

NetLogo: Population Dynamics – bass, gar, fishing [Review of remaining

Chapter 5 even numbered problems]

12

19

M Mar 24

Unit 3 Exam

 

20

W Mar 26

Reflections on Variation, Mystery Phenomenon I

13

21

M Mar 31

Mystery Phenomenon II

 

22

W Apr 2

Variation, Adaptation, and Natural selection

14

23

M Apr 7

Mystery Phenomenon III, Introduction to Macroevolution, [Review of first

six Chapter 6 even numbered additional problems]

 

24

W Apr 9

Evolution and the Tree of Life

15

25

M Apr 14

Macroevolution-Cladistics, [Review of remaining Chapter 6 even numbered additional problems]

 

26

W Apr 16

Plant investigation poster presentations/Review of extra practice problems for final exam

16

28

Final Exam

Wood 1414

 8 am: M Apr 21 8-10 am; 10:30 am: T Apr 22 10:15 am – 12:15 pm;

1 pm: R Apr 24 2:45-4:45 pm

BIOS 1700 Homework Assignments

The following is a list of homework assignments due on the dates listed to the left. All page references are to the Course Pack.

 

Day

Assignment

W Jan 8

None

M Jan 13

Read “Overview of the Course” (p 1), “Student Conception Assignment” (pp.3-10), “Finding Out What Children Think” (pp 11-19), “Concept Mapping for Meaningful Learning”(CP pp 21-27) and Chapter One (pp. 47-78), “Example Student Conceptions Project Proposal” pp. 453-456. Do Chapter One even-numbered additional practice problems. (pp. 69-73). Bring Preassessment (pp. 81-82) and Worksheet for Session 1 (pp. 303-308).

W Jan 15

Read Chapter Two (pp. 79-114). Do Chapter Two even-numbered additional practice problems. (pp. 101-108). Bring Preassessment (pp. 117-118) and Worksheet for Session 2 (pp. 309-312). Initial proposals for the student conceptions assignment are also due.

W Jan 22

Read Chapter Three (pp. 115-144). Reread “The Two Faces of Science pp. 60-61. Do Chapter Three even-numbered additional practice problems. (pp. 135-140).

M Jan 27

Snow Day

W Jan 29

Unit 1 Exam

M Feb 3

Bring Preassessments (pp. 147-148), Worksheets for Session 3 (pp 313-318) and the 4 observation sheets for each stage of the life cycle of the cabbage white butterfly, Pieris. rapae.(pp 369-376). If your initial proposal for the student conceptions assignment was not accepted, the revised version of your proposal is also due.

W Feb 5

Read "Working with Microscopes" (pp 385-388), "Descriptions of Cardiovascular Histology Slides" (CP. pp 389-392), "Organ Systems of the Body" (pp. 393-412). and the first half of Chapter 4 (pp. 145-166). Do the first 4 even numbered problems for Chapter 4 (pp. 183-186). Bring Galen’s Model of the Arterial and Venous systems (pp. 413-414).

M Feb 10

Do the first 4 even numbered Extra Practice Problems for Exam 2 (pp. 459-464). Bring the sheep heart dissection instructions (pp. 417-420) and wear old clothes against the very unlikely possibility the dissecting fluids might harm your clothing.

W Feb 12

None.

M Feb 17

Come ready to present a brief summary of your Student Conception Project report, which is due today. Be sure to bring all parts (including the interview tapes and your accepted proposal). Read the directions to the Plant Investigation Project (pp. 29-36), “Example Plant Investigation Project Questions” (pp. 457-458). Bring Sample Plant Investigation Data (pp. 37-38).

W Feb 19

Read “The Life Cycle of Brassica rapa”(pp. 41-47) AND the second half of Chapter 4 (pp. 167-196). Do the last 2 even numbered Extra Practice Problems for Exam 2 (pp. 459-464) AND the last 5 of the even numbered problems for Chapter 4 (pp. 186-188). Bring Preassessments (pp. 149-150), Worksheets for Session 4 (pp. 319-326) and the all 4 observation sheets for each stage of the life cycle of Wisconsin Fast Plants, Brassica. rapa.(pp 377-384). The first draft of Plant Investigation proposal also due.

M Feb 24

Unit 2 Exam (including lab practicum)

W Feb 26

Read “Directions for planting Brassica rapa” and the overview of its life cycle which discusses how to care for it (pp. 39-46). Final proposals for the plant investigation assignment are also due.

M Mar 10

Bring Preassessments (pp. 197-200) and Worksheets for Session 7 (pp. 327-332).

W Mar 12

Read the first half of Chapter 5 (pp. 195-215). Do the first 5 even numbered problems of Chapter 5 (pp. 229-233). Bring the Netlogo Population Dynamics Worksheet #1 (pp. 421-424). Revised proposals for the plant investigation project are also due

M Mar 17

Do the first 3 even numbered Extra Practice Problems for Exam 3 (pp. 465-478). Bring Preassessments (pp. 201-202) and Worksheets for Session 8 (pp. 333-338).

W Mar 19

Read the second half of Chapter 5 (pp. 215-244). Do the last 5 even numbered problems of Chapter 5 (pp. 234-237). Bring the Net Logo Population Dynamics Worksheet #2 (pp. 425-428) and also the remaining Extra Practice Problems for Exam 3 (pp. 465-478).

M Mar 24

Unit 3 Exam

W Mar 26

Bring the “Reflection on Variation” Handout (pp. 429-432).

M Mar 31

Bring the Mystery Phenomenon handout you were given in class last time.

W Apr 2

Bring Preassessments (pp. 247-250) and Worksheets for Session 5 (pp. 339-346).

M Apr 7

Read Chapter 6 (pp. 245-267). Do the first 6 even numbered problems of Chapter 6 (pp 281-288).

W Apr 9

Bring Preassessments (pp. 251-256) and Worksheets for Session 6 (pp. 347-358).

M Apr 14

Read the remainder of Chapter 6. Do the rest of the Chapter 6 even numbered problems (pp. 288-296). Bring the Cladistics Activity Worksheets (pp. 433-436).

W Apr 16

Come ready to present your Plant Investigation project poster. Bring the Grading Rubric for the Plant Investigation Project (pp. 479-482). Do the even numbered extra practice problems for the final exam (pp. 437-452) in preparation for our review session.

Final Exam

Wood 1414

 8 am: M Apr 21 8-10 am; 10:30 am: T Apr 22 10:15 am – 12:15 pm;

1 pm: R Apr 24 2:45-4:45 pm

 

Comprehensive list of homework assignments for credit and when they are due:

 

Homework assignment

Due Date

Even numbered Chapter 1 problems (pp. 69-73)

M Jan 13

Even numbered Chapter 2 problems (pp. 101-108)

W Jan 15

Even numbered Chapter 3 problems (pp. 135-140)

W Jan 22

First 4 even numbered Chapter 4 problems (pp. 183-186)

W Feb 5

First 4 even numbered Extra Practice Problems for Exam 2

M Feb 10

Last 2 even numbered Extra Practice Problems for Exam 2

W Feb 19

Last 5 even numbered Chapter 4 problems (pp. 186-188)

W Feb 19

First 5 even numbered Chapter 5 problems (pp. 229-233)

W Mar 12

First 3 even numbered Extra Practice Problems for Exam 3

M Mar 17

Last 5 even numbered Chapter 5 problems (pp. 234-237) Bring remaining Extra Practice Problems for Exam 3 to class

W Mar 19

First 6 even numbered Chapter 6 problems (pp. 281-288)

W Apr 9

Remaining even numbered Chapter 6 problems (pp. 288-296)

M Apr 14

Even numbered Extra Practice Problems for Final

W Apr 16