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Interdisciplinarity and Curriculum design in Biological Sciences Teaching Prof. Silvia Díaz Llera, PhD Department of Biological Sciences, Bindura University.

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Presentation on theme: "Interdisciplinarity and Curriculum design in Biological Sciences Teaching Prof. Silvia Díaz Llera, PhD Department of Biological Sciences, Bindura University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Interdisciplinarity and Curriculum design in Biological Sciences Teaching Prof. Silvia Díaz Llera, PhD Department of Biological Sciences, Bindura University of Science Education SECOND NATIONAL SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS TEACHERS’ CONFERENCE August 2014, Bindura University of Science Education, Zimbabwe

2 TOPICS Some definitions and background The problem Aims Analysis of the existing course outlines What could be done The benefits Conclusions and Recommendations

3 SOME DEFINITIONS AND BACKGROUND

4 Definitions DISCIPLINE a subject or field of activity, e.g. an academic subject Etymologically links to the Latin term disciplina which means “the instruction given to a disciple”. SUBJECT course of study: a branch of learning that forms a course of study Interdisciplinarity: a literature review, Angelique Chettiparamb, 2007, The Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning Group, Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies, School of Humanities, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ.

5 Definitions type of knowledge, methods and practices of a scientific community, the ways in which these practices are socially validated, and the ways in which they constitute definite organisational entities that are specific to different cultures, spaces and times. DISCIPLINES are knowledge domains which include Interdisciplinarity: a literature review, Angelique Chettiparamb, 2007, The Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning Group, Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies, School of Humanities, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ.

6 Pharmacy Institute – Havana University Bachelor in Pharmaceutical Sciences COURSESEMESTERHOURSFINAL EXAM Cell Biology548 General Biochemistry578Y Human Physiology696Y Clinical Biochemistry732 Discipline: Biomedical Sciences Total hours: 252

7 Examples are global warming, natural resource management and poverty alleviation. There are many problems in society which cannot be fully addressed by one scientific discipline.

8 In academic grounds, interdisciplinarity typically applies to four realms: In academic grounds, interdisciplinarity typically applies to four realms: – knowledge, – research, – education, – theory. Nissani M. (1997) Ten Cheers for Interdisciplinarity: The Case for Interdisciplinary Knowledge and Research, The Social Science Journal, 34 (2)

9 Mendel was a priest trained in mathematics and natural sciences. Mendel was a priest trained in mathematics and natural sciences. Thomas Hunt Morgan was trained as an embryologist. Thomas Hunt Morgan was trained as an embryologist. Seventeen out of forty-one scientists in the phage group (which played a decisive role in mid-century biology) were physicists or chemists by training. Seventeen out of forty-one scientists in the phage group (which played a decisive role in mid-century biology) were physicists or chemists by training. Watson and Crick were physicists… Watson and Crick were physicists… For instance, the outsider’s perspective and “carrier mobility... is among the most potent sources of innovation and development within a discipline ”. For instance, the outsider’s perspective and “carrier mobility... is among the most potent sources of innovation and development within a discipline ”.

10 It involves the integration or synthesis of information from multiple disciplines to provide insights, answers, or ideas that could not be achieved by focusing on only one discipline. It involves the integration or synthesis of information from multiple disciplines to provide insights, answers, or ideas that could not be achieved by focusing on only one discipline. Interdisciplinary teaching can and does occur at all levels of education, from primary school through graduate school. Interdisciplinary teaching can and does occur at all levels of education, from primary school through graduate school. Interdisciplinary teaching is a method of instruction that incorporates material from more than one discipline. Interdisciplinary teaching is a method of instruction that incorporates material from more than one discipline.

11 The multiple disciplines involved in interdisciplinary teaching can be integrated through a common theme, problem to solve, issue, topic, or process. The multiple disciplines involved in interdisciplinary teaching can be integrated through a common theme, problem to solve, issue, topic, or process. The key is that a higher level of learning takes place because of the synthesis of knowledge from more than one discipline. The key is that a higher level of learning takes place because of the synthesis of knowledge from more than one discipline. Interdisciplinary teaching can be achieved by a single teacher drawing from multiple disciplines or through the coordination of more than one teacher in a process known as team teaching. Interdisciplinary teaching can be achieved by a single teacher drawing from multiple disciplines or through the coordination of more than one teacher in a process known as team teaching.

12 In that way, multidisciplinary teaching is additive while interdisciplinary teaching is integrative. In that way, multidisciplinary teaching is additive while interdisciplinary teaching is integrative. Interdisciplinary teaching must be distinguished from multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and cross- disciplinary teaching. Interdisciplinary teaching must be distinguished from multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and cross- disciplinary teaching. Interdisciplinary teaching hopes to generate ideas and understandings that are more comprehensive than a single discipline alone generates. Interdisciplinary teaching hopes to generate ideas and understandings that are more comprehensive than a single discipline alone generates. Multidisciplinary teaching simply hopes to bring more than one perspective to an issue, problem, or idea. Multidisciplinary teaching simply hopes to bring more than one perspective to an issue, problem, or idea.

13 As interdisciplinarity is a complicated psychological and cognitive process, it cannot be taught with one approach Strengthening of the library. Enabling a student to choose what may be best for him/her without having to go through a process of learning. Allowing students to discover things for themselves with an integration of teaching and research. Incorporating a training component through apprenticeships as a kind of vocational training. The following steps are recommended: Interdisciplinarity: a literature review, Angelique Chettiparamb, 2007, The Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning Group, Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies, School of Humanities, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ.

14 General aims and functions of interdisciplinary pedagogy Interdisciplinary work gets done by moving across the vertical plane of depth and the horizontal plane of breadth. Interdisciplinary work gets done by moving across the vertical plane of depth and the horizontal plane of breadth. – Breadth indicates a comprehensive approach based in multiple variables and perspectives. – Depth implies competence in pertinent disciplinary, professional, and interdisciplinary approaches. According to Klein (1996):

15 The problem

16 Considering that … The increasing amount of scientific knowledge and information in relation to training time in higher education institutions tend to specialization and disciplinarity. The increasing amount of scientific knowledge and information in relation to training time in higher education institutions tend to specialization and disciplinarity. The rate of information volume available is increasing exponentially. The rate of information volume available is increasing exponentially. Means that … There is a contradiction between the available time to train a professional and the society exigencies. There is a contradiction between the available time to train a professional and the society exigencies.

17 Integration of cytology with other biological disciplines giving modern cell biology The Cell Biology Time Line Hardin et al., p. 5

18 Integration of cytology with other biological disciplines giving modern cell biology

19 AIMS Cytology Biochemistry Genetics

20 Aims Analyse the integration of molecular genetics topics and concepts in related course syllabuses of the HBSCBZ (3 years) program. Analyse the integration of molecular genetics topics and concepts in related course syllabuses of the HBSCBZ (3 years) program. Propose a better arrangement of the topics considering their integrative development. Propose a better arrangement of the topics considering their integrative development.

21 ANALYSIS OF THE EXISTING COURSE OUTLINES

22 PART 1 PART 2 Course Topic BZH104 Cell and Molec Biol* BZH107 Genetics* BZH315 Molecular Genetics Comments * Core courses Cell cycle 2. Cell division The cell cycle. Mitosis. Meiosis. Comparisons B. Cell structure and division: Cell Cycle- Meiosis and Mitosis Overlapping Knowledge about chromatin structure during cell cycle is required. Nucleic acids structure 3. DNA, RNA, 2D structures A. The Genetic Material. Nucleic Acid Structure: The DNA molecule. Chromosome structure: Eukaryotic DNA packaging. 1. Genetic material DNA and RNA DNA packaging in chromosomes Chromosome structure and function Overlapping of topics

23 PART 1 PART 2 Course Topic BZH104 Cell and Molec Biol* BZH107 Genetics* BZH315 Molecular Genetics Comments * Core courses Nucleic acids function Appearing among the course objectives is DNA replication, transcription and translation DNA Replication. Gene Expression: The Genetic Code: Central Dogma, Transcription, translation. Mutations: 2. DNA expression Transcription and translation in prok. and eukar. cells The genetic code, types of RNA. Post transcriptional processing – Processing of transcripts 3. DNA replication and PCR amplification DNA repl. and significance Overlappings

24 WHAT COULD BE DONE

25 Faculty of Sciences – BUSE Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Biological Sciences COURSESEMESTERHOURSFINAL EXAM Biochemistry*Y Cell Biology*Y General Genetics*Y Molecular GeneticsY Discipline: Cell and Molecular Biology Basic Biological Sciences Total hours: to be defined

26 WITHOUT BIOCHEMISTRY PART 1 PART 2 Course Topic BZH104 Cell and Molecul Biol* BZH107 Genetics* BZH315 Molecular Genetics Comments Nucleic acids structure, properties and functions 2. Chemistry of cells... Macromolecul es structure and their functions: proteins, nucleic acids and carbohydrates and lipids. 1. Genetic material. Experiments that demonstrate DNA is the genetic material. Nucleic acids properties in relation to their chemical composition and structure. Chargaff’s rules. Horizontal integration. In BZH315 the student gains more information on nucleic acids, their properties.

27 PART 1 PART 2 Course Topic BZH104 Cell and Molecul Biol* BZH107 Genetics* BZH315 Molecular Genetics Comments (Cont.)8. Structural basis of cellular information The organization of DNA in genomes (prokaryotic and eukaryotic genes). DNA packaging. The nucleus..

28 PART 1 PART 2 Course Topic BZH104 Cell and Molecul Biol* BZH107 Genetics* BZH315 Molecular Genetics Comments Nucleic acids function 5. The endomembra ne system and organelles Transmembr transport of RNAs and proteins. Endoplasmic reticulum: protein synthesis coupled with transport. 2. Flux of genetic information. DNA replication process. DNA expression Transcription. Processing of transcripts. Translation: types of RNA. Protein synthes. Post-transcript processing of proteins Horizontal integration. In BZH315 students complete the idea that DNA control all cellular functions, from DNA replication to gene expresion

29 PART 1 PART 2 Course Topic BZH104 Cell and Molecul Biol* BZH107 Genetics* BZH315 Molecular Genetics Comments Cell cycleOverview of the cell cycle. Nuclear and cell division. Regulation of the cell cycle.. Apoptosis. Sexual reprod. Meiosis. Genetic variability. Recombination and crossing over. 2. Mendelian Genetics Mendel’s laws. Segregation and independent assortment. Chromosomal basis of single- gene inheritance patterns. Horizontal and vertical integration of BZH104 and 107. In BZH107 the lecturer can measure if students are able to apply the chromosomal theory of inheritance.

30 CONSIDERING BIOCHEMISTRY PART 1-SEM1PART 1-SEM2PART 2-SEM1 Course TopicBiochemistry BZH104 Cell and Molecul Biol* BZH107 Genetics* BZH315 Molecular Genetics Macromolec of the cell 2. Macromo- lecules of the cell. Nucleic acids. Nucleotides. DNA and RNA: structure and properties. DNA double helix variants. 1. Genetic material. Experiments that demonstrate DNA is the genetic material. Nucleic acids properties in relation to their chemical composition and structure. Chargaff’s rules.

31 CONSIDERING BIOCHEMISTRY PART 1-SEM1PART 1-SEM2PART 2-SEM1 Course TopicBiochemistry BZH104 Cell and Molecul Biol* BZH107 Genetics* BZH315 Molecular Genetics Macromolec of the cell 8. Structural basis of cellular information DNA structure (recall). The organization of DNA in genomes (prokaryotic and eukaryotic genes). DNA packaging. The and nucleus. 1. Genetic material. Experiments that demonstrate DNA is the genetic material. Nucleic acids properties in relation to their chemical composition and structure. Chargaff’s rules.

32 PART 1-SEM1PART 1-SEM2PART 2- SEM1 PART 2-SEM2 Course TopicBiochemistry BZH104 Cell and Molecul Biol* BZH107 Genetics* BZH315 Molecular Genetics Nucleic acids functions Proteins. Structural levels. Native Classification and function of plasmatic proteins. Enzymes as biocatalysts: kinetics, regulation. 5. The endomembrane system and organelles Regulated transport. Nuclear envelop and nuclear pores. Transmembrane transport. Endoplasmic reticulum: protein and lipid synthesis. 2. Flux of genetic information. DNA replication Participating enzymes, their properties and functions. DNA express. Transcription. Processing of transcripts. Translation: types of RNA. Protein synthes.

33 CONSIDERING BIOCHEMISTRY PART 1-SEM1PART 1-SEM2PART 2-SEM1PART 2-SEM2 Course TopicBiochemistry BZH104 Cell and Molecul Biol* BZH107 Genetics* BZH315 Molecular Genetics Cell cycle Overview of the cell cycle. Nuclear and cell division. Regulation of the cell cycle. Sexual reproduction. Meiosis. Genetic variability. Recombination and crossing over. 2. Mendelian Genetics Mendel’s laws. Segregation and independent assortment. Chromosomal basis of single- gene inheritance patterns.

34 The benefits To bring the Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Biological Sciences program closer to the international standards. To raise the efficiency in the professional formation process To increase the trend of solving of society problems by the interdisciplinary approach.

35 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

36 Conclusions The course outlines of the subjects BZH104, BZH107, BZH315 included overlapped topics. The syllabuses of BZH104, BZH107 and BZH315, courses as well as the specific sciences research fields from which they derive, can be conceived from the interdisciplinary perspective. Course contents modifications that are proposed comply horizontal and vertical integration. The proposed approach will not only increase the efficiency of formation process but also the graduate quality.

37 Recommendations The present analysis should be extended to the entire curriculum. Disciplines should be established as well as interdisciplinary relationships between them should be recognized and developed. Reflection about the topics tackled in different courses is needed to obtain integration both in the horizontal and vertical planes.

38 The role of the new science teacher must change In 2000, the Commission on Teacher Education in Karlstad University, Sweden, proposed a program to reorient and reconstruct teacher education. In 2000, the Commission on Teacher Education in Karlstad University, Sweden, proposed a program to reorient and reconstruct teacher education. The program was accepted by the government and converted it into directives to the Swedish Universities. The program was accepted by the government and converted it into directives to the Swedish Universities. The teachers education program report included the following issues: The teachers education program report included the following issues: – The roll of the future science teacher. – Desirable qualities and competencies of the future science teacher. – The approach to learning and knowledge – The new structure and organization of the future science teacher education. – the ways to create interdisciplinary subjects. Mariana Hagberg, The structure and Organization of the Reformed Teacher Training Programme at Karlstad University, Karlstad University, Sweden, p. 79 TEMPUS SEMINAR, Interdisciplinary education – challenge of 21st century. GUIDEBOOK.

39 References Bindura University of Science Education, General Information and Regulations, Prospectus Brown AL. (1994) The Advancement of Learning, Educational Researcher, 23(8)4-12. Chettiparamb A. (2007) Interdisciplinarity: a literature review, The Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning Group, Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies, School of Humanities, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK. De Zure, D. (1999) Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning. Available from: [accessed 26/06/2014]. Derek Hodson (2003) Time for action: Science education for an alternative future, International Journal of Science Education, 25(6) Hagberg M. (2000) The structure and organisation of the reformed teacher training programme at Karlstad University Karlstad University, Sweden, p. 79 TEMPUS SEMINAR, Interdisciplinary education – Challenge of 21th Century. GUIDEBOOK, Jagiellonian University.

40 References Hardin J, Bertoni G, Kleinsmith LJ Becker’s World of the Cell. 8th Ed. Pearson Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco, CA94111, USA. Interdisciplinarity. (http://teaching.uchicago.edu/pod/dezure.html). Interdisciplinary Teaching. Available from: ldid= [accessed 26/06/2014] Klein, J. T. (1996) Crossing Boundaries: Knowledge, Disciplinarities and Interdisciplinarities. London: University Press of Virginia. Nissani M. (1997) Ten Cheers for Interdisciplinarity: The Case for Interdisciplinary Knowledge and Research, The Social Science Journal, 34 (2) Pharmacy and Food Institute, Bachelor in Pharmacy Curriculum Plan D, Havana University, Webb, F., Smith, C., & Worsfold, K. (2011). Interdisciplinary Perspective Toolkit. (Retrieved from the World Wide Web 26/06/2014)

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42 Interdisciplinarity and Curriculum design in Biological Sciences Teaching Prof. Silvia Díaz Llera, PhD Department of Biological Sciences, Bindura University of Science Education SECOND NATIONAL SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS TEACHERS’ CONFERENCE August 2014, Bindura University of Science Education, Zimbabwe


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