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Functional versus classical biology and the placement of biology in the high school curriculum

Functional versus classical biology and the placement of biology in the high school curriculum

Virginia Journal of Science 13(4): 309

ISSN/ISBN: 0042-658X

Abstract. Recent events have caused us to re-examine our instruction in the sciences. Exposed weaknesses are being subjected to remedial efforts. High school science instruction has two objectives of equal importance: to identify and stimulate the development of the potential scientist, and to acquaint all others with the nature and concepts of science in order to provide an environment in which science will progress. A serious division has developed in biology. The traditional biology teacher emphasizes classification and structure, whereas the modern biologist emphasizes the physico-chemical attributes of life. As a result the former may require rote learning of static details; the latter may fail to extrapolate from cellular minutiae to the level of the organism. The following measures are recommended to reduce the gap between these extremes: The adoption of more stringent requirements for teacher preparation and re-eduction, modernization of facilities and procedures, minimizing of fact -learning by teaching concepts supported by enough detail to lend vitality, articulation of high school biology with modernized programs of science in junior high and elementary schools.

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