Design of a Socio-scientific Issue Curriculum Unit: Antibiotic Resistance, Natural Selection, and Modeling

Main Article Content

Patricia J. Friedrichsen
Troy D. Sadler
Kerri Graham
Pamela Brown

Abstract

In this design case, we describe our work to design and develop a socio-scientific issue (SSI) based unit of instruction for use in high school biology. Our team includes university based science educators, an experienced classroom teacher, and a microbiologist. The unit focuses on antibiotic resistant bacteria as a context for student exploration of natural selection and engagement in modeling practices. Our team recently presented a model for SSI instruction that highlights: (a) a focal issue, (b) interaction of science ideas and practices, (c) social considerations, (d) use of information and communications technologies, and (e) a culminating experience that encourages students to synthesize their ideas. We use this model to frame the design case and discuss key decision points that influenced design and development of the unit. The design product is a three-week unit that we implemented in the spring of 2014. Key challenges presented in the case include continually evolving notions of scientific modeling practices and implications for related learning activities, developing supports for student negotiation of the social dimensions of antibiotic resistance, and determining how much emphasis to place on student use of information and communications technologies. 

 

Article Details

How to Cite
Friedrichsen, P., Sadler, T., Graham, K., & Brown, P. (2016). Design of a Socio-scientific Issue Curriculum Unit: Antibiotic Resistance, Natural Selection, and Modeling. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.14434/ijdl.v7i1.19325
Section
K-12 Classroom Implementation
Author Biographies

Patricia J. Friedrichsen, University of Missouri

Patricia Friedrichsen is an Associate Professor, jointly appointed in the Division of Biological Sciences and the Department of Learning, Teaching, & Curriculum.  Her research interests are in secondary science teacher learning and biology education.

Troy D. Sadler, University of Missouri

Troy Sadler is a Professor in science education in the Department of Learning, Teaching, & Curriculum. He serves as Director of the ReSTEM Institute: Reimagining & Researching STEM Education. His research focuses on teaching science through socio-scientific issues.

Kerri Graham, Columbia Public Schools

Kerri Graham is a biology teacher at Rockbridge High School in Columbia, Missouri. She teaches Advancement Placement Biology and Honors Biology courses.

Pamela Brown, University of Missouri

Pamela Brown is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Biological Sciences. Her research interests are in understanding the principles that govern bacterial morphology.