Genetics, Genomics, and Genethics
Subject:Biology. Genetics, Genomics, and ethics.
Grade Level:Biology teachers, grades 6-12
This project focuses on the social and ethical implications of genetic/genomic research and its applications. It will be implemented before and during the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Biology Institute in July, 2001. The main goal of the project is to help Institute participants form viable "working groups" in which they produce a poster, curricular unit, and journal article related to the Institute theme of Genetics, Genomics, and Genethics.
The project is intended for a group of 45 biology teachers participating in a four week summer residential institute on Genetics, Genomics, and Genethics. The bulk of the institute involves laboratory work and scientific inquiry, culminating in a final "working group" projects that showcase participant learning, can be used in the classroom with students, and can share valuable insights with other teachers.. Prior to the institute, learners will communicate with each other and with institute faculty via email and bulletin board. There will be a publicly-accessible Woodrow Wilson Biology Institute website that faculty can use to post information and other resources.
Participants will begin communicating online eight weeks prior to the institute. They will spend approximately two hours a week exploring resources and contributing to the online discussion. Once the institute begins on July 1, 2001, participants will have approximately eight hours per week to work on their working group projects.
Structure of the Learning:
Content:Learners will explore the scientific principles as well as the ethical, legal, and social implications of modern genetic and genomic research. They will consider what aspects of genetics and genomics their students ought to know and will develop a curricular unit to address those needs. They will also create a poster and article to share their ideas with other scientists and science teachers.
Prior to the institute, the facilitators will email learners and direct them to the Biology 2001 web site that features a collection of statements and questions designed to stimulate thought on the range of social issues associated with genetic research. Learners will discuss these issues on an online bulletin board, using three core resources identified by institute facilitators. After several weeks of discussion, participants will submit statements describing their preferred topics. These postings will be used in July to guide the formation of institute "working groups".
Best Use of Technology:
Prior to the institute, the geographically disparate learners will conduct two-way communication with each other using online bulletin board technology. They will use CD-ROMs and the Internet to obtain information about genetics and genomics that is otherwise inaccessible.
Project Evaluation:One day after the Biology Institute ends, facilitators will meet for debriefing. They will discuss components of the pre-institute bulletin board activity and the working group projects, including the appropriateness of the time frame, the effectiveness of the group work, the level of communication with experts, and the best use of the internet.
Alignment with Standards:The following National Science Education Standards will be addressed:
Teaching Standard A: Teachers of science plan an inquiry-based science program for their students. In doing this, teachers develop a framework of yearlong and short-term goals for students; select science content and adapt and design curricula to meet the interests, knowledge, understanding, abilities, and experiences of students; select teaching and assessment strategies that support the development of student understanding and nurture a community of science learners; work together as colleagues within and across disciplines and grade levels.
Teaching Standard B: Teachers of science guide and facilitate learning. In doing this, teachers focus and support inquiries while interacting with students; orchestrate discourse among students about scientific ideas; challenge students to accept and share responsibility for their own learning; recoginize and respond to student diversity and encourage all students to participate fully in science learning; encourage and model the skills of scientific inquiry as well as the curiosity, openness to new ideas and data, and skepticism that characterize science.
Teaching Standard D: Teachers of science design and manage learning environments that provide students with the time, space, and resources needed for learning science. In doing this, teachers structure the time available so that students are able to engage in extended investigations; create a setting for student work that is flexible and supportive of scientific inquiry; ensure a safe working environment; make the available science tools, materials, media, and technological resources accessible to students; identify and use resources outside the school; engage students in designing the learning environment.
Content Standard C: As a result of their activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop an understanding of: the cell; molecular basis of heredity; biological evolution; interdependence of organisms; matter, energy, and organization in living systems; and behavior of organisms.
Content Standard D: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop abilities of technological design and understandings about science and technology.
Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab , and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.
Author(s): Deborah Engel-Di Mauro (firstname.lastname@example.org)