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  1. 1. 5/12/2009 Teaching Biology • Biology is a broad topic that can easily overwhelm the Teaching Biology at the Institute of Biology, teacher as much as the student University of the Philippines, Diliman • Is biology purely memorization, or is there more? • The students must retain the key concepts long after Ian Kendrich C. Fontanilla, M.Sc. they’ve forgotten many facts and terms ( • Students should relate biological concepts to everyday life Our Teaching Experience in IB Our Teaching Experience in IB • We rely heavily now on the LCD projector and our • Hands on experience through lab exercises is still powerpoint presentations with clearer figures indispensible • ..but we never abandon the chalk and board to stress points! Our Teaching Experience in IB Some Examples of Biological Concepts and How They • …as well as field work! are Taught 1. Bioinformatics 2. Biogeography 1
  2. 2. 5/12/2009 What is bioinformatics? What is bioinformatics? • Biological information are stored in biological databases • Application of computers, databases, and in order to organise the data on a large scale computational methods to the management of biological information • Biological database • A large, organized body of persistent data, usually • Biological information can be in the form of: associated with computerized software designed to • Nucleotide sequences (DNA and RNA) update, query, and retrieve components of the data stored within the system • Amino acid sequences and protein structure • Gene expression • Must be easily accessible • E.g. GenBank ( Molecular Phylogeny – an application of bioinformatics What is bioinformatics? •Estimating and analyzing evolutionary relationships • There has been a phenomenal increase of biological using molecular markers such as DNA and proteins information (e.g. molecular biology) in the last few decades •Molecular markers retain a record of an organism’s evolutionary history • e.g. GENBANK – definitive database in the US for gene sequences •The nucleotide or amino acid differences within a gene reflect the evolutionary distance between two • ( organisms •Molecular markers are easily quantifiable compared to morphological data •Makes use of the freeware BioEdit ( •Neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree of mammals Biogeography based on the mbrca1 gene •Deals with geographic patterns of species distribution and the processes that result in such patterns. •Species distribution brought about by several factors: •speciation •extinction •continental drift •glaciation 2
  3. 3. 5/12/2009 SE Asia Reconstructions 50 50-0 Ma © Robert Hall 1995 40 20 10 0 3
  4. 4. 5/12/2009 Islands of the Philippines during the last ice age (~10,000 years ago) Some Examples of Problematic Biological Concepts and How We Teach Them in IB 1. The theory of evolution •“It’s just a theory.” 2. The issue on reproductive health •Should contraception be taught in the first place? •Should contraception be taught in grade school and high school? 1. Evolution Evolution – how we teach it in IB •Change in gene frequencies in populations over time •Evolution IS a theory that is testable •Unifying concept in biology •We lay out all the facts •“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” (Theodosius Dobzhansky: 1900-1975) •Ask the students to critically analyse the facts •Explains: •Origin of species •What are their conclusions about evolution? •Diversity of organisms and their relationships •Similarities and differences among species •Adaptations to the environment Different reactions to evolution Different reactions to evolution 1. Young Earth Creationists 2. Day-Age Theorists • accept Genesis literally, including not just the • each of the six days of creation is not a 24-h day but a special, separate creation of human beings and all long period of time, even thousands or millions of other species, but the historicity of Noah’s Flood years • do not interpret the flat-earth and geocentric passages • found comfort in what they regard as a rough parallel of the Bible literally, but they reject modern physics, between organic evolution and Genesis, in which chemistry, and geology concerning the age of the plants appear before animals and human beings earth appear last 4
  5. 5. 5/12/2009 Different reactions to evolution Different reactions to evolution 3. Progressive Creationists 4. Intelligent Design Proponents • God created kinds of animals that were of a higher • certain features of the universe and of living things are taxonomic level than species best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection • God created creatures containing at least as much genetic variation as a family (e.g. Felidae, Cercopithecidae) and considerable evolution within a • argue that an archaeologist who finds a statue made of kind then occurred stone in a field may justifiably conclude that the statue was designed, and reasonably seek to identify its designer Different reactions to evolution Different reactions to evolution 5. Theistic Evolutionists 6. Material Evolutionists • God created but relied more upon the laws of nature to bring about His purpose • go beyond science and propose that the laws of nature are not only sufficient to explain all of nature and evolution but that the supernatural does not exist • one species can give rise to another • see God as intervening at critical intervals during the history of life especially in the origin of human beings • philosophical materialism (naturalism)  there is nothing in the universe beyond matter, energy, and their interactions Implantation 2. The Reproductive Health • Stage after fertilization in humans where a blastocyst develops from a fertilized zygote • A right that should be accorded every woman • “involves the right to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of children and to have information, education and means to do so” • Panao, 2008 • When does life begin? •Egg moves along oviduct to uterus •6th day after fertilization, blastocyst attaches to uterine wall or ENDOMETRIUM 5
  6. 6. 5/12/2009 Contraceptives Human Embryonic & Fetal Development •Human gestation time – from conception to birth – approximately 9 months Blocks any one of the following stages of early development: •Embryonic development – months 1 – 2 1. Release & transport of gametes •Fetal development – months 3 – 9 2. Fertilization 3. Implantation Types of Contraceptives Reproductive Health – how we teach it in IB •Explain human development from gametes to adulthood 1. Ovulation-suppressing methods •How is development stopped by each type of contraceptive 2. Barrier methods (physical and chemical) 3. Surgical methods •Ask the students when they think life should begin 4. Implantation-suppressing methods •Ask the students if they would use contraceptives 5. Others 6