was team teaching; now FACTS?

Stefanie Galgon smg4 at DANA.UCC.NAU.EDU
Wed Jul 14 12:40:20 EST 1999


Hear!  Hear!

"When and how?"  You said it yourself: "...they come together."


Stefanie Galgon			lab/message: (520) 523-7735
Department of Biology		
Northern Arizona University	smg4 at dana.ucc.nau.edu

"Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death"  
Auntie Mame

On Wed, 14 Jul 1999 PROFDHW at aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 07/14/1999 10:02:44 AM, drobinson at bellarmine.edu writes:
> >(yes, even
> >memorizing!) vocabulary is a critical part of that process.
> Dave Robinson you blaspheme!  <big, wide grin here>
> Perhaps we should put things in perspective. We need *whole* students, 
> teachers, and scientists. What would we think of a politician who didn't know 
> which came first, the French Revolution or the Spanish-American War? What 
> would we think of a biologist who didn't know what glycolysis or a polar bond 
> was? Could such a one use, as an excuse, that their specialty was mammalian 
> behavior?
> Can we have surgeons who know how to make an incision in the body wall but 
> know neither where the gall bladder lies nor what its function is? It's like 
> the chicken and the egg. Neither comes first, they come together. You can't 
> have one without the other.
> We are certainly doing disservice to any potential biological graduate 
> student if, in the context of teaching biology, we don't at least delineate 
> some minimal set of important content, such as the chemiosmotic hypothesis, 
> Darwin's theory of natural selection, Mendel's law of segregation, the 
> Watson/Crick theory of DNA function, and so on. When they discover the need 
> to know these things on their own it will be much too late to avoid the 
> embarrassment of ignorance.
> I don't mean to negate the long neglected need for actively teaching the 
> process of science. But should we go as far as Bill Purves in his assertion 
> that there is no specific fact which must be learned in undergraduate 
> biology? Perhaps what he means if that there is no one fact so important that 
> it could not, in the interest of better learning, be omitted (but certainly 
> not along with every other such fact).
> And while we're at it, what about descriptive science? Don't students need to 
> understand that the quest for pattern, classification, organization, and law 
> are valid research objectives? Science is not strictly experimental. When and 
> how do we incorporate this vital aspect of biology into the "process" of 
> education?
> Dave Williams
> Science Department
> Valencia Community College, East Campus
> 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail
> Orlando, FL  32825
> profdhw at aol.com
> 407-299-5000 x2443

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