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Full text of "Biology 10-20-30"

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IHQGY 10-20-30 



CURRICULUM 



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315.5 AL TA 

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1*83 , ^33 

ar. 10-12 GrlO-12 ^ 



IDE- 1983 



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IMPORTANT NOTE 



The program of studies concepts statements for 
Biology 10 and 20 contained in this guide are mandatory, 
effective September 1983. Revisions to the Biology 30 
course will be piloted during the 1983-84 school term and 
are scheduled for mandatory implementation, September 1984. 
A proposed concept outline for Biology 30 is included in this 
guide for information and pilot purposes only. Schools 
not involved in the Biology 30 provincial pilot are required 
to follow the 1975 Biology program of studies for the 
1983-84 term. 

Content weightings, objectives and other statements 
describing the process skills, attitudes, psychomotor 
components of the 1983 revision are, in fact, a re- 
statement of the 1975 program of studies, phrased in more 
specific terms. 



U 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Page 
Philosophy 1 

Rationale 3 

Biology 10/3 
Biology 20/4 
Biology 30 (Pilot) / 5 

Learning Resources for Biology 10 and 20 7 

Program of Studies 10 

Curriculum Specifications: Content Emphasis / 10 

Goals and Objectives 11 

General Objectives of Science Education 

Grades One Through Twelve / 11 
General Goals of Biology 10, 20 and 30 / 12 
Objectives of the Biology 10 Program / 13 
Objectives of the Biology 20 Program / 14 
Objectives of the Biology 30 Program / 14 

Process Skills 15 

Psychomotor Skills 17 

Attitudinal Objectives 19 

Concept Description Statements 21 

Biology 10 / 22 
Biology 20 / 26 
Biology 30 (Pilot) / 30 

Organization for Instruction 36 

Core-Elective Format / 36 
Student Projects / 36 
Safety in School Laboratories / 36 
Historical Aspect / 39 
The Gifted Student / 40 
Rationale for Electives / 42 
Guidelines for the Handling of 
Sensitive Issues / 46 

Appendix A: Controversial Issues 48 



< 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 



Alberta Education acknowledges with appreciation the 
contributions of the Biology Ad Hoc Curriculum Committee 
members in the preparation of this Interim Curriculum Guide 
for High School Biology . The committee operated under the 
direction of the Science Curriculum Coordinating Committee 
and the Curriculum Policies Board. 

Bruce Drysdale, Bev Facey High School, 

Sherwood Park 
Larry Ethier, Wetaskiwin Composite High 

School , Wetaskiwin 
Karen Hobbs, Sturgeon Composite High 

School , Namao 
Vic Kushner, Spruce Grove Composite High 

School , Spruce Grove 
Dawn Lindenberg, Ross Sheppard Composite 

High School, Edmonton 
Garry Popowich, Program Development, 

Alberta Education 
Bob Ritter, St. Joseph's Composite High 

School , Edmonton 
Terry Rusnack, Chairman, Lethbridge 

Regional Office, Alberta Education 
Wallie Samiroden, Faculty of Education, 

University of Alberta, Edmonton 

Alberta Education also acknowledges the valuable 
contributions of many senior high school biology teachers 
and regional office science consultants who assisted in 
the assessment and revisions of the biology program. 



NOTE : This publication is a service document. The advice 
and direction offered is suggestive except where it 
duplicates or paraphrases the contents of the 
Program of Studies. In these instances, the content 
is colour coded in the same distinctive manner as 
this notice so that the reader may readily identify 
all prescriptive statements or segments of the 
document. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 
University of Alberta Libraries 



http://archive.org/details/biology102030inte83albe 



PHILOSOPHY 



The biological sciences program identifies the natural laws of science 
and places these fundamental concepts in a socially relevant and personally 
meaningful context for students. The study of biology can no longer be 
restricted just to factual information; the open-endedness of science and 
the tentativeness of scientific knowledge necessitates a broader understanding 
of basic concepts and the development of theories and principles. 

The goals of biology programs in the 1960s emphasized the knowledge 
and skills important for understanding the structure of biology as a 
scientific discipline. Rapidly advancing research brought greater 
comprehension and more clarification to the biological sciences and, as in 
the 1970' s, the goals shifted slightly toward ecological problems and the 
role of science and technology in society. Environmental issues were 
also added to the biology program. However, the primary goal of biology 
remained knowledge, with environmental issues being presented within that 
extreme detail in an ever expanding curriculum. Excessive detail can cloud 
general principles that provide a solid foundation to understanding the 
natural laws of science. An important challenge to teachers will be to sort 
out the "relevant" from the "not so relevant" information and to present this 
information in a manner consistent with their students' maturity, interest and 
need. 

The traditional approach to biology has been to reveal only the 
knowledge that scientists have accumulated, as though science were a closed 
book. Rarely has instruction been devoted to what is not known, what might 
be the future direction for research on a problem, or what new technologies 
are likely to be spawned from research information at hand. Nor do most 
students leave science courses with the notion that the world they are 
going into will be different from the one they have been studying. 

A biology curriculum for the 1980s must use knowledge to develop 
fundamental concepts in a socially relevant and personally meaningful context 
for students. A progressive biology program must address itself to a student's 
personal needs through content such as proper nutrition, the effects of 
alcohol and drugs, and career awareness. The 1980s demand that a recognition 
of environmental concepts, societal issues and world problems be incorporated 
into the biology program. Analyzing and responding to these concerns 
necessitates intellectual techniques and information gathered from the 
natural and social sciences. This requires that the presentation of biological 
knowledge not be isolated from other disciplines such as economics, politics 
and sociology. 



1 - 



A biology program for the 1980's and 1990 ' s must address itself to the 
fact that most students will not become biologists; thus, the primary goal 
will not be the imparting of knowledge. Rather, the student should come away 
with an understanding of the principles of modern biological thought, an 
awareness of the importance that sound biological knowledge may have to solving 
individual problems and those of society as a whole. It follows then that 
awareness of and interest in biology is a lifelong concern, if not a vocation. 




- 2 - 



RATIONALE 



The biological sciences program identifies the natural laws of science 
and places these fundamental concepts in a socially relevant and personally 
meaningful context for students. The biology program is designed to provide 
students with an appreciation of the development of biological knowledge. 
Concepts and theories are based on facts and are meaningless without them, 
but the converse is also true. Facts, as isolated fragments of information, 
are meaningless and are not useful to the scientist or the science student. 
They must be related to concepts and theories if they are to be relevant, and 
must be presented as a means to an end, as in problem solving. 

The curriculum has been designed in a manner that will provide every 
student in the province with a common core component. An elective component 
allows the teacher to identify regional environmental issues, meet specific 
individual needs or foster an appreciation and enthusiasm for subject matter 
not designated by the core component. 

Descriptive statements, time allocations and clarifications throughout 
the curriculum guide have been organized in a manner that will provide direction 
and guidance with regard to the information provided and the depth of detail 
expected. The textbook is not designed to determine content, provide order, 
give all of the examples or provide the applications of the content. Much of 
the criticism levelled at textbooks arises from expectations that far exceed 
the intent of any learning resource. Teachers who believe that a textbook 
provides curriculum often lament, "If only the right one could be found." It 
should be noted that the specificity prescribed by the descriptive statements 
encourages teachers, more than ever, to become involved with curriculum by 
developing examples and providing applications of that content as it relates 
to students, in a current and regionally significant manner. 



Biology 10 



The structure and discussion of cellular function has been limited to 
those structures as seen through the light microscope. A discussion of 
cytoplasmic organelles that cannot be seen in the laboratory adds excessive 
detail and tends to be isolated from laboratory experience. The mitochondria, 
as organelles, are better discussed when associated with the processes of 
cellular respiration. Any discussion of ribosomes should be placed in the 
context of protein synthesis, where terms like amino acids, nucleotides and 
nitrogen bases can be dealt with in an organized and unified manner. 

The microscope and development of cell theory provides an historical 
perspective to the interrelationships between biology, technology and their 
influences on society. 



3 - 



Biologists do not agree on a universally accepted classification 
system. The intent of the unit on classification is to provide students with 
the rationale for grouping organisms into taxonomic levels without focusing 
upon criteria for three, four or five kingdom systems. Any discussions of 
kingdoms should be consistent with the textbook used in the course. 

The survey of living organisms is intended to provide students entering 
the biology program with an introduction to the similarities and differences 
exemplified by various life forms. Selected representatives of lower forms, 
plants and animals, ensure that no group of organisms can be omitted in favor 
of an extensive and exhaustive study of another group. Traditionally, a 
teacher with training in zoology, botany or microbiology has presented a core 
component that has reflected his or her professional bias, thereby creating 
programs and presentations that varied greatly throughout the province, and 
often within school systems or even individual schools. The descriptive 
statements, suggested time allocations and clarification statements should 
provide some commonality of core, while the elective component encourages the 
teacher to become involved with curriculum development in a manner that meets 
the needs of his or her students. 



Biology 20 



The ecology unit in the biology program should provide an appreciation 
of the position of life forms and complex interactions of these organisms 
within the ecosystem. The factual information provided in this section can 
provide a foundation to a problem solving and decision making approach to 
ecology. 

Because of its significance, a general discussion of photosynthesis 
has been introduced at the Biology 20 level. This brings the process of food 
production into perspective as the base of the food chain and makes the 
information a cornerstone to the evaluation of environmental problems. All 
too often ecology has been approached from an animal oriented avenue, thereby 
creating a limited view of our biosphere and the interactions that occur 
within it. The concepts of electron transfer, high energy bonds and enzyme 
reactions should not be discussed at this level since the students have yet to 
acquire an adequate background in biochemistry; however, many investigative 
studies can be pursued at this level. For example, investigations such as 
how light intensity affectsthe rate of photosynthesis, the function of 
chlorophyll in photosynthesis, the effects of light upon starch production in 
a leaf, and techniques for separating pigments in leaves, can be undertaken. 

The influences and impact that man has on the ecosystem has been 
placed in context with specific studies about the environment. After 
establishing the principles of the water cycle, for example, a discussion of 
acid rain has been introduced as a model of man's influences. Because the 
problems presented by acid rain offer no simple solutions, students are 



encouraged to become involved with decision making processes and the evaluation 
of technical data. By assimilating the principles of the hydrologic cycle and 
the problems presented by acid rain, the program allows the student to view the 
factual material from a relevant and meaningful perspective. 

A presentation of the knowledge derived from genetic principles, the 
structure of DNA and cell division lends itself to the extension of the 
factual information to the development of scientific theories which can be 
exemplified by the theories of evolution. 




Biology 30 (Pilot) 



The Biology 30 program introduces cellular function, biochemistry and 
physiology. Because of the nature of the materials and the depth of present- 
ation, the concepts are introduced using human systems. Although the focus 
is on human physiology, it should be noted that many of the concepts developed 
within the program can readily be adapted to other organisms. The study of 



- 5 - 



cytoplasmic organelles, principles of cellular respiration, operation of 
enzyme systems, the physical processes of a cell and controls of hormone 
levels provide us with just a few examples. Because the Biology 30 curriculum 
concentrates on human physiology, it is directed toward the individual needs 
of the student. Any repetition of these general principles which have been 
identified in the human system, be they incorporated through the study of plant 
physiology, invertebrate physiology or the physiology of a lower form chordate, 
is not included in the core, but may be handled through electives. 

The curriculum encourages an integrated approach be adopted to the study 
of human systems. The fundamental principles of kidney function, for example, 
may be associated with a functioning cardiovascular system, hormone system, 
digestion and liver function. By approaching the human body from an application 
and homeostatic adaptation strategy, the systems can readily be related to 
each other. The alternate approach, which is derived from a primary knowledge 
based goal, deals with systems as isolated units working independently and 
stresses anatomy, terminology and rote memory. 

To be consistent with the goals of the program, an exhaustive or 
extensive study of biochemistry would not be attempted. The depth of treatment 
of this topic should be based upon the fact that many students enter the 
Biology 30 program without any chemistry background. A detailed approach to 
difficult topics such as cellular respiration also tends to cloud the under- 
standing of fundamental ideas such as the basic differences between aerobic 
and anaerobic respiration, the idea that oxidation of an organic compound 
releases energy which can be stored by cells, and the uses of the stored 
energy. Memorizing the names or chemical structures of intermediary 
metabolites for oxidative phosphorylation or the Krebs cycle tends to confuse 
students rather than promote understanding and generate interest in the topic. 

The curriculum is designed to initiate a movement away from a didactic 
dissemination of factual information towards more relevant utilizations of 
knowledge. The integration of open-ended questions, environmental problems 
and societal issues, where appropriate in the core materials and/or the 
elective component, should better enable our students to meet the challenges 
presented by the 1980s. 



- 6 



LEARNING RESOURCES FOR BIOLOGY 10 AND 20 



L EARNING RESOURCE APPROVALS 

In terms of provincial policy, learning resources are those print, 
nonprint and electronic courseware materials used by teachers or students to 
facilitate teaching and learning. 

PRESCRIBED LEARNING RESOURCES are those learning resources approved by the 
Minister as being most appropriate for meeting the majority of goals and 
objectives for courses, or substantial components of courses, outlined in 
provincial Programs of Study. 

RECOMMENDED LEARNING RESOURCES are those learning resources approved by 
Alberta Education because they complement Prescribed Learning Resources by 
making an important contribution to the attainment of one or more of the major 
goals of courses outlined in the provincial Programs of Study. 

SUPPLEMENTARY LEARNING RESOURCES are those additional learning resources 
identified by teachers, school boards or Alberta Education to support courses 
outlined in the provincial Programs of Study by reinforcing or enriching the 
learning experience. 

Prescribed : 

Biology - Silver Burdett (General Learning Corporation - Canada), 
1983 

Biology: Living Systems - Merrill (Bell and Howell - Canada), 1983 

Laboratory Biology - Investigating Living Systems 

- Merrill (Bell and Howell - Canada), 1983 

Recommended : 

Modern Biology - Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1981 

Two textbooks and one laboratory manual have been approved for pre- 
scribed listing for Biology 10-20. It is the intent to have the same textbook 
for both Biology 10 and 20. Both textbooks contain more material than is 
necessary to cover the minimum core component as outlined in the program of 
studies. The laboratory manual approved for prescribed status is self-contained 
That is, it may be used with either textbook used. A third textbook is listed 
but is on the recommended list. This book provides good material for enrich- 
ment, elective work and further study and is not intended for use as a student 
textbook. 



- 7 - 



PROGRAM OF STUDIES 



PROGRAM OF STUDIES 



Curriculum Specifications: Content Emphasis 



The biology program is based on four major components: process skills, 
psychomotor skills, attitudes and concepts (subject matter). The percentage 
emphasis of each component for instruction in Biology 10, 20 and 30 is listed 
in the table below. Even though each component is listed separately, instruct- 
ion should integrate process skills, psychomotor skills and attitudes with 
the development of concepts. Not all these skills nor attitudes have equal 
emphasis at each course level. Hence development of these components should 
take place as the concepts are presented. 



^^^^ Course 
Content ^^^^ 


Biology 10 


Biology 20 


Biology 30 


Process Skills 


30 


30 


20 


Psychomotor Skills 


10 


10 


5 


Attitudes 


10 


10 


15 


Concepts 
(Subject Matter) 


50 


50 


60 



- 10 - 



GOALS AND OBJECTIVES 



General Objectives of Science Education 
Grades One Through Twelve 



1. To develop the ability to inquire and investigate through the use of 
science process skills. 

2. To promote assimilation of scientific knowledge. 

3. To develop attitudes, interests, values, appreciations and adjustments 
similar to those ideally exhibited by scientists at work. 

4. To develop an awareness and understanding of the environment with positive 
attitudes and behaviors towards its use. 

5. To develop a critical understanding of those current social problems which 
have a significant scientific component in terms of their causes and/or 
their solutions. 

6. To promote awareness of the humanistic implications of science. 

7. To promote an understanding of the role that science has in the develop- 
ment of societies and the impact of society upon science. 

8. To contribute to the development of vocational knowledge and skill. 




General Goals of Biology 10, 20 and 30 



1. To develop an understanding of the interrelationships of biology, technology 
and their influence on society. 

2. To develop those attitudes, psychomotor and process skills which are 
associated with scientific inquiry. 

3. To develop an interest in biology as a natural science. 

4. To develop an awareness of the delicate balance of nature and the 
appreciation that the survival of all life forms depends upon this 
balance. 

5. To encourage further interest in biological phenomena through the use of 
electives. 

6. To provide an historical perspective to developments in the biological 
sciences. 

7. To prepare students to make responsible decisions regarding science re- 
lated social issues. 

8. To develop an appreciation of how biologists carry out their work. 

9. To make students aware of possible careers in the field of the biological 
sciences. 



12 - 



Objectives of the Biology 10 Program 



1. To identify some of the characteristics that distinguish living things 
from non-living things. 

2. To develop an understanding of the development of the cell theory and its 
application. 

3. To understand how organisms can be classified into various levels. 

4. To initiate an understanding of the differences and similarities that 
exist among organisms. 

5. To develop effective techniques in the use of microscopes. 

6. To develop effective dissecting techniques. 




- 13 - 



Objectives of the Biology 20 Program 

1. To develop understandings of the interactions and interrelationships 
between biotic and abiotic factors within communities, ecosystems and 
biomes. 

2. To understand the principles of genetics. 

3. To recognize some of the reasons why there is a great diversity among 
organisms. 

4. To examine man's impact on the biosphere. 



Objectives of the Biology 30 Program 

1. To examine selected cell structures and functions 

2. To introduce a chemical basis for life. 

3. To examine the following human processes: 

a) Alimentation and nutritional needs 

b) Circulation of body fluids 

c) Breathing and gas exchange 

d) Cellular respiration 

e) Movement and support 

f) Regulation of body fluids 

g) Nervous and hormonal control systems 
h) Reproduction 



14 



Process Skills 

Scientific investigation or inquiry requires the collection and 
processing of information from the environment. The activities which scientists 
exhibit while researching or protilem solving are referred to as process 
skills and are fundamental to the scientific method. 

Process skills are incorporated into the biology program through class- 
room work and, in particular, the laboratory experience. Activities such as 
observing, hypothesizing, predicting, measuring and interpreting data are 
stressed at all levels. The observation and recording of data is highly 
significant when examining cell structure and representative organisms in the 
Biology 10 program. The study of succession in Biology 20 involves, in 
particular, the prediction of changes in ecosystems over time. The investigation 
of biochemical reactions in Biology 30 requires an understanding of the control 
and manipulation of variables. 




15 - 



The table below lists process skills covered in the biology program. 
Each skill is given a relative importance rating based on the specific course 
being taught. The letter "A" is of highest importance, "B" is medium and 
"C" is the lowest. Although the process skills are stressed at all grade 
levels, course content may determine which particular skills should be 
emphasized. 



Process Skill 




Grade Level 




Biology 10 


Biology 20 


Biology 


30 


Identifying problems 


B 


A 


A 




Controlling variables 


C 


A 


A 




Hypothesizing 


B 


A 


A 




Predicting 


B 


A 


A 




Design of methods for data 


C 


B 


B 




collection 










Observing 


A 


A 


A 




Measuring 


B 


B 


A 




Processing of data 


A 


A 


A 




Classifying 


A 


B 


C 




Interpreting data 


A 


A 


A 




Inferring 


B 


A 


A 




Defining operationally 


A 


A 


A 




Formulating models 


B 


A 


A 




Seeking further evidence 


B 


B 


B 




Applying discovered knowledge 


B 


A 


A 





- 16 - 



Psychomotor Skills 



Psychomotor skills can be identified as those skills which involve an 
integration between muscular movement and intellect. A progressive development 
of many of these skills throughout the high school biology program is needed 
to provide a meaningful scientific experience. 

The psychomotor skills can be developed and refined as the student 
progresses in the biology program. Safety must be a primary concern while the 
development of these skills occurs. Because many of the skills are progressive 
and repeated at the three levels of biology, no attempt was made to assign the 
skills to any one level. 

Because of the flexibility provided by electives and the special 
resources of individual schools, the examples provided for the different 
psychomotor skills is not to be interpreted as a prescriptive list but merely 
as representative of the psychomotor skills they define. 

The students should have the ability to: 

1. Manipulate equipment, for example: 

a) Microscope 

b) Bunsen burner 

c) Microcomputers 

d) Centrifuge 

e) Water baths 

f) Hot plates 

g) Balance 

h) Stethoscopes and sphygmomanometers 

2. Use tools: 

a) To develop proficiency in the use of various tools and instruments 

b) Use of dissecting instruments 

c) Use of common laboratory tools (beakers, tongs, graduated cylinders, etc.) 

d) Use of mortar and pestle 



- 17 - 



Carry out accepted procedures: 

a) Preparation of wet and dry mount slides 

b) Develop techniques for the separation of pigments 

c) Staining techniques 

d) Collecting and preserving techniques 

e) Dissecting procedures 

f) Biochemical analysis techniques 

g) Focusing microscopes 

Develop safe practices and procedures; 

a) Safe use of chemicals in the laboratory 

b) Antiseptic techniques for microbiology 

c) Proper handling of supplies and equipment 

d) Proper handling of living specimens 




- 1, 



Attitudinal Objectives 



General 

1. To promote an appreciation of the interrelationships between biology, 
technology and their influence on society 

2. To develop an interest in biology as a natural science 

3. To develop an interest and appreciation of the attitudes demonstrated by 
scientists in their work 

4. To develop a sense of responsibility in decision making concerning science 
related social issues 

5. To develop an appreciation of science as an important vocational and 
intellectual pursuit 

6. To develop an appreciation of the historical development of modern science 

Biology 10 

1. To develop an appreciation of the diversity among living things 

Biology 20 

1. To develop an appreciation of the role man plays in his environment and of 
his dependence upon that environment 

2. To develop an appreciation of the interdependence of living organisms 
within their environment 

3. To develop positive attitudes and behaviors towards the use of the 
environment 



Bi ology 30 

1. To develop an appreciation of the interdependence of human organ systems 
and their functioning in a homeostatic relationship 



- 19 - 



Concept Description Statements 

The concept statements which follow for Biology 10 and 20 are 
mandatory, effective September 1983. The statements for Biology SO are 
tentative and subject to review through piloting during the 1983-84 
school term. Schools not involved in the Biology 30 provincial pilot 
are required to follow the 1975 program of studies statements. 

The order of topics, and the concepts therein, are not prescriptive. 
The subject matter reflected in the concept statements should be developed 
and presented in a sequence that is appropriate and meaningful to the 
teacher and students. Comments concerning the depth and coverage of the 
concepts are provided where necessary for clarification purposes. 

Social issues and environmental concerns should extend and be 
related to the core concept of the program. Including pertinent and current 
issues at the time that key concepts are being discussed provides meaning 
and application to the subject matter. Because social and environmental 
issues are constantly changing, their presentation should be in keeping 
with student interest and currency of the issue, environmentally and/or 
socially. 




21 



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35 - 



ORGANIZATION FOR INSTRUCTION 

Core-Elective Format 

The senior high school biology program has been reorganized around two 
compulsory components: core and elective. Both components are mandatory for 
instruction. Core is the common program provided to all students throughout 
the province. This comprises approximately 80 percent of the instructional 
time. The Program of Studies defines the minimal core program. The elective 
is a compulsory area but the term elective refers to the specific topic and 
methodology utilized. This should reflect the teacher's expertise and student's 
interest in the development of topics covering the related topics for each 
respective course. Electives comprise approximately 20 percent of the 
instructional time. 



Student Projects 

Projects provide an opportunity for students to study biology while 
developing their investigative skills. The student project should be in- 
corporated as a teaching strategy rather than as a separate unit in the 
course. This strategy may be utilized throughout the biology courses in 
either core or elective components. This integrative approach allows students 
to study a course component individually, in small groups or as a class. 

Methodologies will vary considerably and reflect student interests, 
teacher's expertise, school facilities and school program. Project work should 
allow students to develop inquiry skills that would help them begin to under- 
stand how knowledge is discovered and used. 

Safety in School Laboratories 

Injuries and accidents in school laboratories can be minimized by: 

1. Providing safe school facilities and equipment and limiting class size 
to numbers which the facility can handle. 

2. Teachers becoming familiar with the school safety equipment such as 
fire extinguishers, fire blankets, showers and eye wash stations. 

3. Making students aware of safe procedures in laboratory activities. 



36 



Teachers must familiarize themselves with the proper use and maintenance 
of equipment and handling of chemicals, which are available in their school. They 
must become aware of potential hazards, associated with the use of microwave 
ovens, autoclaves, centrifuges, corrosive chemicals, toxic substances, inflam- 
mable materials, volatile liquids, radioactive materials and carcinogens. 

Some laboratory investigations require the use of potentially hazardous 
chemicals. For example, concentrated acids may be required during laboratory 
investigations or in preparation of necessary solutions. Concentrated acids 
are frequently corrosive, poisonous irritants, and should be handled carefully. 
If concentrated acids are placed in dropping bottles for students use, use 
plastic rather than rubber bulb droppers. Laboratories should contain only 
those quantities of concentrated acids which would be sufficient for one 
year's requirements. Iodine stains and solutions are commonly used in 
laboratory investigations. Prepared iodine solutions should be purchased 
from the chemical supply houses since crystalline iodine vapor is toxic or 
extremely irritating and its dust is hazardous when inhaled or touched. 

Certain biological investigations require the use of solvents containing 
ether. Such solvents are highly flammable and extremely explosive. Petroleum 
ether must be used in lieu of other ethers. (It should be purchased locally as 
an aerosal from hardware stores or automobile supply houses.) 

Proper storage facilities must be provided for all potentially 
dangerous substances. Teachers should refer to the Potentially Hazardous 
Chemicals Information Guide for the procedure for the storage, use, dangers 
and disposal of various chemicals. Other safety manuals should be available 
to teachers and students. 

If living organisms are kept in the classroom common sense precautions 
would keep incidence of allergies and diseases to a minimum. For example, 
a careful selection must be made of organisms such as nonpathogenic bacteria, 
healthy plants and animals, nontoxic plants, and molds which are considered 
safe to handle. Culturing pathogenic organisms in a laboratory voluntarily or 
by accident must be avoided. For example, some strains of Escherichia coli 
may cause illness and live outside the culture. Only those strains which cannot 
live outside nutrient culture media should be used. Contact biological supply 
houses for safe strains of E scherichia col i . Glassware, incubators and inoculating 
loops must be kept clean at all times. 

Specimens used for dissection or observation must be collected properly, 
handled carefully, and disposed of without causing infection or contamination. 
Special care must be taken in collecting and disposing of blood, urine or 
epidermal cells. Teachers should also be aware of students with special health 
problems which may restrict their participation in certain laboratory activities. 



- 37 - 



Basic greenhouse precautions must include such practices as selecting 
only healthy, "safe" plants which are free of parasites. If an infection does 
take place and the greenhouse has to be sterilized, extreme care must be taken 
in selecting a noncarcinogenic herbicide and pesticide. 

School boards, along with school administrators, must set up 
jurisdictional policies relating to accidents and insurance. Teachers must be 
aware of the implications of these policies. 




38 



Historical Aspect 



The historical aspect of biology, as dealt with at all levels of the 
course, is an important part of the background information which makes it 
possible to understand current and future scientific endeavors. 

In Biology 10, for example, the contributions of such scientists as 
Hooke and Leeuwenhoek are mentioned during discussions of cell theory and the 
microscope, while Linnaeus must be represented as the individual largely 
responsible for creating our modern taxonomic system. 

The works of Gregor Mendel and Charles Darwin are an integral part 
of the Biology 20 topics of genetics and speciation. 

At the Biology 30 level, reference is made to the research pioneered 
by scientists including Canadians such as Banting, Best and Penfield which led 
to understandings and treatments of certain disorders and diseases. 

The above-mentioned scientists are just a few of those whose 
contribututions may be discussed in the high school biology courses. 




- 39 - 



The Gifted Student 

Although in certain schools there are special classes or courses for 
"gifted" students, the teacher of the mainstream biology program deals, on a 
daily basis, with many students who exhibit characteristics which are commonly 
attributed to the "gifted." As a curriculum is developed, opportunities must 
be left open so that the widest possible range of teaching and learning 
strategies may be employed in order to serve the needs of the gifted student. 

One of the major aims in the education of the gifted student is to 
develop their research, deductive and creative thinking skills. One strategy 
for fostering these skills would be to provide opportunities for students to 
plan and carry out independent projects either inside or outside of the class- 
room or school. Regular programming may have to be compacted to compensate 
for any time where the student is absent from the regular classroom. 

Gifted students may require only minimal staff involvement to carry 
out independent study programs if they have first been provided with some 
training in the selection and use of audiovisual equipment for the obtaining 
of information. Gifted students will require varied amounts of staff involve- 
ment to carry out independent study programs. Excessive demands on staff may 
be decreased if the students are initially trained in the use of audiovisual 
equipment and appropriate resources are available. Such training would 
prepare the student to make full use of learning packages, modules, minicourses, 
etc. , which might be introduced either by the student or the teacher, in 
addition to regular curriculum material. 

Resource personnel from the community might be brought into the school 
for lectures or seminars, or students might be afforded the opportunity to 
visit or interview personnel who work in their areas of interest. In this 
"mentor" approach, gifted students might spend time in a work experience 
type situation outside of the school under the direction of individuals in a 
specific field of interest. 

If economics are a problem, mentors might be employed strictly on a 
voluntary basis, and might include any interested and capable individuals who 
could share their expertise. One valuable source of mentors might be 
university students who are interested in the processes of education. It is 
essential that all potential mentors actually have sufficient time and interest 
to assist students in carrying out enrichment projects. 

Two approaches may be used to identify topics for study and mentor 
resources. Firstly, individuals who are interested in becoming mentors may 
provide lists of possible topics for study in their areas of expertise. 
Secondly, teachers may approach individuals, who may become mentors, in response 
to student identified interests and develop a volunteer mentor, or community 
resources file. 



- 40 



Students can participate in the planning of the file, in locating and 
interviewing potential mentors, and in listing topic suggestions, as. well as 
making practical suggestions for the utilization of mentor's services. 

Gifted students should be encouraged to participate in such activities 
as science or school fairs. Their involvement would allow students to develop 
their interests independently and allow them to compare their efforts with 
their peers. Also, participation at local, provincial and federal levels will 
expand students' background experience. 

Attendance at conferences is another activity students of this calibre 
should be encouraged to participate in. There often are local conferences which 
may be an extension of many core topics within the biology curriculum. 

For additional suggestions as to strategies which could be employed by 
the average classroom teacher in dealing with the gifted, many excellent 
articles are available, such as "Gifted Students, Regular Classroom: 60 
Ingredients for a Better Blend," The Elementary School Journal , Volume 82, 1982 
or Mentor Assisted Enrichment Projects for the Gifted and Talented by W. A. Gray, 
Educational Leadership pp. 16-21, November, 1982. 



- 41 - 



Rationale for Electives 

The elective component of the biology program is a compulsory section 
of the course where students and teachers have some flexibility in determining 
what is to be studied and how it is to be studied. The topics covered should 
be related to the respective course taken in that they are based on overall 
objectives for that program. Elective topics may be discussed periodically 
throughout the term or dealt with as the opportunity arises. 




The use of electives will allow for a greater understanding of the 
scientific method through the development of laboratory and library research 
skills. Electives may be pursued utilizing several methods ranging from 
individual to group studies and from structured to open-ended investigations. 
Electives should be designed to make science more interesting and meaningful 
through the assimilation of daily issues and biological knowledge. 

The elective section of the biology program should be designed to allow 
for the extension of student interest and may be approached in several ways: 

1. An extension of concepts related to core topics. 



42 



This is not meant to be an in-depth study of core material, but rather 
an opportunity to apply and extend core principles to current issues of 
student interest. Some examples may be parasitology, contemporary 
diseases, genetic engineering, nutritional patterns, chemical health 
hazards, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, influence of the development of the 
microscope on society, and dichotomous keys. 

2. Use of scientific reports, periodicals or journals. 

Periodicals present interesting discussions of current issues and 
demonstrate scientific procedure. These articles convey current research 
and technological development and allow for extension towards topics relevant 
to the student's future. 

Scientific papers also provide the science student with an opportunity 
to evaluate scientific procedures ranging from the identification of 
problems in experimental design to the critical analysis of data. Students 
may recognize external factors influencing research such as funding, finding 
qualified personnel, government influence, etc. It should be noted that 
this approach to elective study will develop an appreciation for the 
scientist, reinforce an awareness of scientific differences as well as 
increase scientific literacy. 

This approach to elective study allows a teacher latitude to develop 
an entire unit. 

Suggested references could include Canadian Geographic , Discover , 
Equinox , Nature Canada , Science Digest , Science 83, 84, . . . , Science 
World . 

3. A locally developed unit on the environment. 

Environmental issues may vary among geographic areas. The choice of 
issue must be relevant to the biology course and be meaningful to the 
students. 

Examples could include acid rain, land use, winter ecology, urban 
planning or pond studies. 

4. The use of microcomputers. 

The microcomputer presents alternate teaching strategies that can pro- 
vide increased flexibility and scope in dealing with curriculum, either 
core or electives. The successful implementation of software is primarily 
dependent upon the suitability of the disk, and the organization of the 
physical setting. 

The pedagogical approaches undertaken by the microcomputer can be 
listed and explained as follows: 



- 43 - 



a) Systems Analysis and Simulations. 

Simulations can provide students with realistic, vicarious experiences 
of real bio-societal systems. Such simulations allow them to choose 
different alternatives in s.uch a system. Examples of such use include 
the simulation of: world food production, the mechanisms of gene 
mutation, or strategies used for weed and insect control. 

Students can use a computer model of a societal system to evaluate data, 
and become involved in decision making processes. An example can be 
provided by evaluating the benefits of using insecticide sprays and 
toxins as a pollutant within the food chain. No alternative presents 
a panacea. Each alternative is a compromise and the probability of 
making the most of a human decision. 




- 44 



b) I nformation Retrieval 

Gathered experimental data can he stored and retrieved for later use. 
Example, air pollution monitoring readings can be stored on disk. 
SO2 readings could be compared in different areas and during different 
seasons or years. Another example could be to pool vegetation plot 
data on disk for comparisons throughout a number of years. The latter 
data could become assimilated into a succession study. 

c) The computer can provide an invaluable resource in the statistical 
manipulation of data. Mathematic modeling of biological phenomena 
such as illustrated by population growth systems can be organized and 
presented by graphing techniques, and calculations of population 
density. 

d) Course Review 

The microcomputer can provide and organize unit reviews for students in 
a manner that provides immediate feedback and diagnosis of a student's 
weaknesses within the area. Most of the course review programs are 
organized in a drill and practice format, although some other modes do 
exist. A successful drill and practice style of review should include 
a tutorial branch for incorrect answers, and thereby incorporate a 
maximum amount of student interaction. 

e) Student Evaluation 

Various examination formats can be organized on a disk. An accompanying 
management system would not only correct the students input but could 
provide the teacher with class marks and item analysis. This type of 
evaluation can become a very important ally for students undertaking 
individualized projects or instruction. The software evaluation 
programs would allow the students to progress at their own rate and 
complete the examinations at the appropriate times, while providing 
teachers with the needed information. 

The Computer Technology Branch of Alberta Education is assessing 
programs for biology, and teachers should be cautioned against 
purchasing any software without checking with the software clearinghouse 
for direction. 



45 - 



Guidelines for the Handling of Sensitive Issues 

The guidelines for the presentation of potentially sensitive issues 
should be in accordance with Alberta Education policy re: controversial 
issues in the classroom (see Appendix A). The intent of the policy state- 
ment is to provide for the development of students' capacities to reason 
logically through divergent and convergent thinking, and to critically examine 
issues from several, frequently opposing, points of view. Of course, not all 
points of view can be studied in detail or even presented. However, opposing 
positions may be expanded upon in order to promote critical thinking as it 
relates to the interpretation of issues. To encourage such experiences, care 
should be taken so that neither theories nor beliefs are presented as fact. 
Because the sensitiveness to an issue would likely vary between and within 
school districts, and over time, it is unlikely that any list of controversial 
issues would be complete or relevant to all biology programs. Some issues that 
serve as examples for teachers to develop with their biology classes would 
include those that relate to population problems (birth control), acid rain, 
evolution-creation, nuclear energy uses, genetic manipulation and bioethics. 

Identification of particular controversial issues for classroom study 
should revolve around various criteria as suggested by the following questions: 

1. Is the issue appropriate for the target group? Considerations must 
include cognitive, social, moral and physical development of students 
as well as their prior background and experience. 

2. Is the issue important in society? Issues that are identified for 
discussion must be important social, economic and political problems 
facing our society or are seen as being likely future concerns. 

3. Will study of the issue contribute to the goals of the program? 

4. Can adequate resources about the issue be provided for students, 
teachers, and other people in the community? Balanced analyses 
are possible only when the resources fairly and adequately 
present each major position. 

5. Can the issue be appropriately considered within reasonable 
classroom time in relation to the whole program? 

6. Does the presentation reflect professional treatment of the issue 
in terms of school district policy, the views of the community, and 
tolerance and understanding of minority viewpoints. 

The evolution-creation debate exemplifies one issue which is repeatedly 
addressed by interest groups. In addressing such an issue, two aspects should 
be considered. Firstly, that evolution is a scientific theory supported by the 
scientific community and as a theory is open to modification in light of new 
scientific evidence and is potentially falsifiable. (e.g. Theory of gravity 
followed by the theory of relativity.) Secondly, that creationism is a 



46 



> 



position held by some religious groups, and is not supported by empirical or 
scientific facts, and therefore, cannot be presented as such. Frequently, 
positions based on societal, economic, moral or aesthetic values may be in- 
cluded during the study of an issue. Similarly, the creationist and competing 
viewpoints might be integrated with the analysis of accepted, scientific 
theory. 



> 



- 47 - 



ydltx^r 



ra 



CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES 



EDUCATION 



In August. 1 972, The Minister of Education announced a policy regarding controversial issues This announcement 
was in response to representations having been made regarding the treatment in school programs of such matters as 
Canadian content, family life education, sex-stereotyping and special creation, to name a few By way of interpretation 
the policy is to be treated as a whole: that is, no clause is to be applied in isolation of any other clause or clauses The 
policy is intended to accomplish the following in the handling of issues such as those mentioned above. 

1 Provincially it will: 

(a) guide the development and revision of Programs of Study, including the acquisition of support materials 

(b) serve as the Department of Education position in cases in which the Department may be consulted 
regarding controversial issues 

2 Locally, the statement is to serve as a guide for the development of policy at system, district or school levels, 
according to local choice. 

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION POLICY 
Re: Controversial Issues in the Classroom 

I. In principle, it is an objective of the Alberta educational system to develop students' capacities to think clearly, 
reason logically, examine all issues and reach sound judgments 

II The specific policy, based on this principle, is: 

1 Students in Alberta classrooms should not be ridiculed or embarrassed for positions which they hold on any 
issue, a requirement which calls for sensitivity on the part of teachers, students and other participants in 
dealing with such issues 

2 Students should have experiences in selecting and organizing information in order to draw intelligent 
conclusions from it. For sound judgments to be made, information regarding controversial issues should 

(a) represent alternative points of view, 

(b) appropriately reflect the maturity, capabilities and educational needs of the students and reflect the 
requirements of the course as stated in the Program of Studies, 

(c) reflect the neighborhood and community in which the school is located, but not to the exclusion of 
provincial, national and international contexts 

3 School trustees should establish, in consultation with appropriate interest groups, policies regarding 

(a) identification of controversial issues, 

(b) treatment of such issues in local classrooms 

4. Students, teachers and administrative staff should have a voice in determining 

(a) the controversial issues to be studied, 

(b) the texts and other materials to be used, 

(c) the manner in which such issues are dealt with in the classroom 

In response to representations regarding the treatment of the theory of evolution in school science programs, the 
Science Curriculum Coordinating Committee prepared and presented the following policy statement to the Curriculum 
Policies Board. This statement, which interprets the Department's policy regarding controversial issues in relation to 
science programs in the classroom, was considered by the Curriculum Policies Board in March, 1 979, and was accepted 
by the Minister of Education in June, 1979. 

(a) That where relevant, official curriculum documents published by Alberta Education for use by science 
teachers should contain: 

(i) the Department of Education policy statement on controversial issues 

fii) a special statement alerting teachers to the need for sensitivity in handling such issues. 

(Hi) a listing of available learning resources from which school boards, teachers, and/ or students may select 
items representing alternative points of view on such controversial issues as may be included in a 
Program of Studies 

(b) That, at the provincial level, all science curriculum committees and/ or individuals associated with selecting, 
recommending, listing and/or prescribing texts and/or other learning resources for use in Alberta schools 
be directed to 

(i) confine their choice to those learning resources in which the science subject matter is deemed to be 
satisfactory in terms of the definition of science: 

Natural Science is a branch of knowledge obtained by the scientific method, which deals with a body of 
observable and reproducible facts concerning material phenomena, systematically arranged and 
showing the operation of general laws and theories 

fii) select learning resouces that are satisfactory in terms of scientific accuracy, adequacy of treatment, and 
reading level 

(Hi) recommend the development of such additional materials as maybe deemed necessary (To be used only 
as a last resort.) 

(c) That, in the initial selection stage, the inclusion or exclusion of science sub/ect matter in Alberta school 
science curricula be determined by validating it according to the definition of 'Natural Science' in (b). (i) above 



QH 315-5 A33 1983 GR-10-12 
BIOLOGY 10-20-30 -- /INTERIM 
GUIOE -- 

39841057 CURR HIST 




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For Reference 



NOT TO BE TAKEN FROM THIS ROOM 

EXCEPT WITH LIBRARIANS Oh