Biology Core Curriculum
The Biology Core Curriculum has two primary goals: (1) students will value and use science as a process of obtaining knowledge based on observable evidence, and (2) students’ curiosity will be sustained as they develop and refine the abilities associated with scientific inquiry.
The Biology Core has three major concepts for the focus of instruction: (1) the structures in all living things occur as a result of necessary functions. (2) Interactions of organisms in an environment are determined by the biotic and abiotic components of the environment. (3) Evolution of species occurs over time and is related to the environment in which the species live.
Biology students should design and perform experiments, and value inquiry as the fundamental scientific process. They should be encouraged to maintain an open and questioning mind, to pose their own questions about objects, events, processes, and results. They should have the opportunity to plan and conduct their own experiments, and come to their own conclusions as they read, observe, compare, describe, infer, and draw conclusions. The results of their experiments need to be compared for reasonableness to multiple sources of information. They should be encouraged to use reasoning as they apply biology concepts to their lives.
Good science instruction requires hands-on science investigations in which student inquiry is an important goal. Teachers should provide opportunities for all students to experience many things. Students should investigate living organisms from each kingdom. Laboratory investigations should be frequent and meaningful components of biology instruction. Students should enjoy science as a process of discovering and understanding the natural world.
The Most Important Goal
Science instruction should cultivate and build on students’ curiosity and sense of wonder. Effective science instruction engages students in enjoyable learning experiences. Science instruction should be as thrilling an experience for a student as opening a rock and seeing a fossil, tracing and interpreting a pedigree, or observing the affects of some chemical on the heartbeat of daphnia. Science is not just for those who have traditionally succeeded in the subject, and it is not just for those who will choose science-related careers. In a world of rapidly expanding knowledge and technology, all students must gain the skills they will need to understand and function responsibly and successfully in the world. The Core provides skills in a context that enables students to experience the joy of doing science.