Monday, May 27, 2013

Course Overview

Before I start describing my standards writing process and posting the standards themselves, I thought that I should give some insight into my course setup. The College Board published a new course outline last year, which separated the content into four “Big Ideas”: Evolution, Cellular Processes, Genetics and Information Transfer, and Interactions. While these big ideas work well for helping students organize their thoughts about the class, and to see connections across multiple areas, I do not think they work well as a framework for actually moving through the content.

A few years ago I sat down to rework the order I presented the material. I identified 8 major units in the course, each trying to follow the general format of introducing the cellular or molecular aspects of a topic, and then expanding on that and introducing how these processes work in context of complete organisms.

So here are the units I use; I will be posting my standards for each unit, plus the basic Science Process Standards from the College Board, over the next few weeks.

Unit 1: Cells and Molecules
Unit 2: Transport (Membranes, diffusion/osmosis, plant transport, animal circulation)
Unit 3: Energy (Energy basics, enzymes, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, animal nutrition and digestion)
Unit 4: Communication (Cellular basis of communication, hormones (animals and plants), immune system, nervous system)
Unit 5: Reproduction and Development (Mitosis, meiosis, animal reproduction, plant reproduction, animal development)
Unit 6: Genetics (Mendelian genetics, molecular genetics, biotechnology)
Unit 7: Evolution and Diversity
Unit 8: Ecology

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