The Development of Curricular Guidelines for Introductory Microbiology that Focus on Understanding

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    Authors: Susan Merkel1,*, the ASM Task Force on Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Microbiology1
    Affiliations: 1: MS Microbiology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-5701
    • Published 03 May 2012
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: MS Microbiology, 111 Wing Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-5701. Phone: 607-254-2767. Fax: 607-255-3904. E-mail: smm3@cornell.edu.
    • Copyright © 2012 American Society for Microbiology
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2012 vol. 13 no. 1 32-38. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.363


    The number of students who leave majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) due to a perception that courses are poorly taught is evidence that education reform in STEM is overdue. Despite decades of research that argues for student-centered teaching approaches, most introductory STEM courses are still taught in the large lecture format, focusing on rote memorization. While individual efforts in STEM educational reform are important, solutions will most certainly need to include institutional and cultural change. In biology, numerous national reports have called for educational reform to better prepare future scientists. We describe here a new, concept-based curriculum for Introductory Microbiology courses, designed to promote deep understanding of core concepts. Supported by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and based on the overarching concepts and competencies presented in the AAAS/NSF report , we hope it will empower instructors to adapt student-centered approaches so that students in Introductory Microbiology courses can leave the course with a core set of enduring understandings of microbiology.

Key Concept Ranking

Horizontal Gene Transfer

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