Vision and Change–ing A First-Year Biology Classroom
In the recent report, Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action, the American Association for the Advancement of Science laid out a blueprint for reforming undergraduate biology education. A key component of the vision is ensuring that all students understand certain core concepts that are necessary for biological literacy, and that they are able to demonstrate a set of core competencies in disciplinary practice.
The core concepts and competencies were integrated into every aspect of a first year Inquiries in Biology course at Northeastern University. This course is offered to students majoring in Biology, Biochemistry, and Behavioral Neuroscience who have Advanced Placement credit for General Biology. The class is small (35 students), and is organized largely in a seminar format with no textbook and very minimal lecturing. However, the integration strategies presented here should be applicable to larger classes, as well as classes that are more lecture-focused.
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