BIOS 270 Life Science for Elementary Educators II Fall 2004

Instructors: Class Meets:

Eric Bushrow T-H 10:30 am-12:50 pm

email: eric.bushrow@wmich.edu Wood 1127

Office: 3134 Wood Hall

Phone: 387-2779

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30-10:30 pm & by appointment

Melissa Howse-Willard T-H 1:00-3:20 p.m

email: howse_willard@yahoo.com Wood 1127

Office: 1127 Wood Hall

Phone: 387-5398

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30-1:00 and 3:20-3:50 pm & by appointment

Required Texts/Materials:

A course pack of readings (BIOS 270 Life Science for Elementary Educators II Rudge Fall

2004/Spring 2005) is available at the WMU Bookstore in the Bernhard Center.

Recommended Materials:

Students are invited to provide their own 100 MB zip disks (Macintosh format only) in

the event they would like to save electronic documents created in class.

Course Description:

"This is a laboratory-based course is a continuation of BIOS 170 and is specifically designed for prospective elementary teachers. The objectives of the course are to aid students in developing meaningful and functional understanding of key biological concepts and their interrelationships; to provide students with open-ended problem solving environments that facilitate insight in the nature of science as an intellectual activity; to explore alternative conceptions of scientific phenomena; to help students develop more positive attitudes about science and increase their confidence in their ability to do science." (WMU Undergraduate Course Catalogue 2003-2005, p. 55)

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. The science and mathematics minor for students enrolled in the elementary education or special education curriculum at WMU includes six science and two math content courses. BIOS 270 is one of these content courses. 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. Methods regarding how to teach science in the K-8 classroom are taught

in a separate course, ED 401 Teaching Elementary School Science.

In BIOS 170 we explored how scientists study phenomena in the biological subdisciplines of anatomy and physiology, ecology and evolution. In BIOS 270, its companion course, we will continue this exploration with reference to the biological subdisciplines of genetics, molecular and cell biology, and a capstone unit that invites students to consider a single biological phenomenon from the perspective of all of these subdisciplines. In addition to learning content, both of these courses have also been developed to help participants become self-reflective about how people learn biology and the implications of these reflections for teaching practice.

Broad Goals for BIOS 270

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 270

By the end of this course, students will:

Instructional Methods and Activities

BIOS 270 meets twice per week for 2 hours and 20 minutes. 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 occasional 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 occasional 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/270.html

A limited number of tape recorders for the student conceptions assignment are available for sign out from your instructor. Additional tape recorders for the student conceptions assignment may be borrowed from either 2214 Dunbar Hall or 2311 Sangren Hall. You will need a letter from your instructor verifying that you are using the equipment for an assignment.

 

 

 

Policies and Procedures

Attendance and participation:

Attendance and participation in class 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. Typically, 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 turn in any missed assignments or catch up on class activities.

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.

Academic Honesty

You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the WMU Undergraduate Catalog 2003-2005 that pertain to Academic Integrity (pp. 274-276). 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 me if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test.

Course requirements:

Students will evaluated on the basis of two projects and three exams as follows:

Name of assignment

Graded

No. of points

Note:

A. Student Conceptions

Individuals/Pairs

100

Assignment preapproval required

B. Disease Report

Individuals/Pairs

100

Assignment preapproval required

C. Unit Exams (Genetics, Mol. & Cell, and Organismal Biology)

Individuals

300 (100 pts. each)

Dates of exams as listed on syllabus are subject to change

   

500 points

 

A cover sheet listing evaluation criteria used for both of the major outside assignments (A and B above) is included in the course pack on pages 23 and 59 respectively. (Please attach the cover sheet to each of these assignments when you turn it in.) Information regarding the format of each exam will be provided during the review sessions noted in the tentative schedule below. The grade for Unit Three, Organismal Biology, will be assigned on the basis of an exam (53 pts.), daily diary entries (40 pts.) and participation (7 pts.).

Other outside homework assignments (listed below) include background readings and concept mapping exercises that prepare students for the major exams of the course.

 

Grading Procedures:

Grades for assignments 1 day (i.e. 24 hours- not the next class period) late will be reduced 10%, 2 days late 20%, and more than 2 days late 30%. Final grades for the course will be tabulated by dividing the total number of points the student has accumulated by the end of the term by 5.

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

Tentative Schedule of Topics We Will Cover

Week

Class

Date

Topic

1

1

Jan 4

Introduction to the Course, The Mystery Tube Investigation

 

2

Jan 6

Review of Assignment #1 (Student Conceptions Project),

Concept Mapping

2

3

11

Constructivism, PIViT

 

4

13

Review of Assignment #2 (Report on a Disease), Genetics

Construction Kit - simple dominance

3  

17

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday (no class)

5

20

GCK — codominance

4

6

25

Meiosis/Mitosis, GCK -sex linkage

7

27

GCK - model revising, Cookie Lab

5

8

Feb 1

Review

9

3

Genetics Unit Exam

6

10

8

The Origin of Life

11

10

Life Story i, Logal Molecular Biology Explorer (LMBE)

7

12

15

Life Story ii, LMBE

13

17

Life Story iii, LMBE

8

14

22

Student Conceptions Presentations

15

24

Alternative Conceptions of Cells, LMBE

9  

25

Spring Break (no class)

10

16

Mar 8

Endosymbiosis, LMBE

17

10

Review

11

18

15

Molecular and Cell Biology Unit Exam

19

Nov17

The Mystery Patient, Cellular Perspective

12

20

22

Genetic Perspective I

21

24

Genetic Perspective II

13

22

29

Evolutionary Analysis I

23

31

Ecological Analysis

14

24

Apr 5

Evolutionary Analysis II

7

23

A Molecular Biology Approach

15

26

12

Summary; Disease Reports Due

27

14

Review

Finals Week

28

Mystery Disease Unit Exam