Vision & Change in Undergraduate Botany Education
Gibson, J .
Vision and Change In Introductory Biology: An Example From A Tree-Thinking Curriculum.
The Vision and Change Report outlines various issues and suggests a number of changes necessary to strengthen undergraduate STEM education. While the large-scale changes necessary at the departmental or curricular level may be slower to implement, changes to put the fundamental ideas presented in the Vision and Change Report into action more rapidly can occur at the level of individual classes. Changes where recently made in an introductory-level biology course at the University of Oklahoma (BIOL 1134 Introduction to Evolution, Ecology, and Diversity) to organize the entire course around a central conceptual focus of Tree-Thinking to improve student understanding of evolution. Through a combination of inquiry activities, case studies, and other active learning approaches in lecture and lab that addressed specific misconceptions, significant increases were achieved in student understanding and acceptance of evolution. Similar approaches were also used to address specific topics in the botany portion of the course as well. The structure of the course uses the Core Concepts and Core Competencies outlined in the Vision and Change Report to give students a solid foundation in biology before proceeding to other courses in their specific major’s curriculum. The approach used in restructuring BIOL 1134 can be used as a framework for modifying other courses to meet the goals outlined in the Vision and Change Report for improving STEM education.
1 - University of Oklahoma, Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, Department of Biology, Norman, OK, 73019, USA
Vision & Change
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Candidate for Awards:None