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Physics and Biology Courses in Middle School Report (Assessment)


In the present-day world, the relation between a man and the environment has become closer than ever, since the scale of people’s actions is becoming increasingly huge. The effects of technological development on the plants, the animals and the environment in general are tremendous, which makes a good cause for studying these effects to figure out whether people’s actions will change the environment forever. At present, a tight connection between people’s activities and the changes in the geography of the planet can be observed, which means that people’s impact on the world geography must be studied.

Once establishing the connection between people’s activities and the changes which have occurred recently in the climate of the planet, as well as the change of the animals’ habitat and the extinction of certain species of animals and plants, one can possibly suggest the solutions for the current geographical issues (Janelle, Warf & Hansen, 2004). Among the most certain effects which people have had on the world environment, global warming must be considered once again (Harris, 2012). Since, according to the recent discoveries, the threat of global warming has been greatly exaggerated, it is necessary to reconsider the existing policy towards fighting global warming.

As for the second issue which is offered in the given paper, a thorough study of some biological issues is also quite important. Indeed, learning the basic principles of classification of biological organisms is essential for cognizing the world of nature. Hence, it is crucial that the students learn how to classify the existing organisms and into which categories these organisms fall. Regarding the evolution issues, one must keep in mind that the recent reconsiderations of Darwin’s theory are worth being mentioned for the students to get a better idea of the species development. Regarding the topic that touches upon cells and their constituents, it is required that the students be able to tell a plan cell from a zooblast. Once learning the principles according to which plants and animals’ organisms work, one can shape an idea about the way in which the above-mentioned kingdoms relate to each other, as well as figure out what makes the two kingdoms coexist in harmony. Finally, moving to the specifics of animal kingdom, one of the basic elements that helps draw the line between animal kingdom and plants, i.e., nervous system, must be studied thoroughly. Linking the physical and the psychological, the nervous system of a man is one of the mysteries, unmasking which, one can come closer to learning the nature’s greatest secrets.

Geography: Raising students’ Awareness Concerning Environmental Issues

Use and management of natural resources – year 6, level 3

Text: Sustainable use and management of natural resources.

Link: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&ved=0CFoQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eea.europa.eu%2Fpublications%2Feea_report_2005_9%2Fat_download%2Ffile&ei=dOnIUILoIYHItQbBwYDgAg&usg=AFQjCNGVmv4Wp966DMpgA6qUeumTNK-0XQ&sig2=OrRJlmRj27EFiFJ0TfLrUA&bvm=bv.1354675689,bs.1,d.d2k

Organizational resource: Department of Environment and Resource Management

Learning student activity: Students split into groups of three. Each group represents a specific company which makes use of natural resources (e.g., wood, water, oil, etc.). Each member of a group is assigned with a role of a director, a strategist and a resource manager. The students are to offer a plan for their company’s development with regard to careful use of the resources (exhaustible and inexhaustible ones).

In Department of Environment and Resource Management, the students will be able not only to learn about the basic means to manage natural resources wisely, but also to find out what causes the increase of the resources in question. Hence, the students will be able to take into account all major factors that influence resource location, distribution and quantity. With that in mind, one can claim that the goals of the lesson, which are to inform the students on the resource management, will be fully met. Using a problem-based learning theory, the teacher can not only help the students learn the material and apply their new skills to practice, but also develop the students’ abstract thinking skills (Rideout, 2001).

What is a dinosaur? Learning about the prehistoric creatures – year 5, level 1

Text: Dinosaur

Link: http://autocww2.colorado.edu/~toldy2/E64ContentFiles/PaleontologyAndFossils/dinosaur.htm

Organizational resource: Australian National Adventures

Learning student activity: The students will be provided with printed colored pictures of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures and a list of corresponding names to match with the pictures (around 20-25 items). The first three students to come up with the right answers will get a prize.

Australian National Adventures is one of the organizations that deal with the archaeological heritage of the ancient times. With the focus on the prehistoric animals and a careful research of the existing record of fossils, as well as a thorough study of the latter and developing groundbreaking theories concerning the prehistoric life, the Australian National Adventures organization will provide sufficient help in covering the theoretical material. Moreover, Australian National Adventures can offer even some extra information for those who are especially interested in prehistoric life. Hence, it can be concluded that the learning goals of the lesson, which are remembering the major features of prehistoric life and the key animals, will be fully met. Since the students will have to learn a lot of new terms and definitions, the cognitive load theory will help stretch their memory (Sweller, Ayres & Kalyuga, 2011).

Environmental ecosystems: properties and the means of sustaining them – year 5, level 2

Text: Ecosystems and ecosystem management

Link: http://ohioline.osu.edu/ws-fact/pdf/WS_6_09.pdf

Organizational resource: Ecosystem Management (Aust) Pty Ltd

Learning student activity: The students will split in two groups. One of the groups will argue in favor of using the sustainable environmental policy to keep the environmental ecosystems intact, while another group will offer the arguments in favor of the collaborative management approach. Each team has to offer ten or more arguments.

Ecosystem Management (Aust) Pty Ltd offers more than one way to consider the existing ecosystems, which makes it a perfect pick for studying the versatility of environment. While the Ecosystem Management (Aust) Pty Ltd allows to lean enough about the types of the existing ecosystems, it also provides the means to preserve the ecosystems which are nowadays threatened. Therefore, the chosen organization not only relates to the teaching in question, but also corresponds to the goals of the lesson directly. With the help of Bloom’s taxonomy, the students will be able to structure the existing ecosystems and remember the properties of each. In addition, the students will learn how to sustain the existing ecosystems once structuring the latter with the help of Bloom’s taxonomy (Well & Kincheloe, 2004).

Cultural diversity: learning about the basic cultural specifics of major nations – year 3, level 1

Text: Building coalitions: Working with different cultures

Link: http://wch.uhs.wisc.edu/docs/PDF-Pubs/DiverseCultures-14.pdf

Organizational resource: Racism No Way

Learning student activity: First of all, the student will create a list of major clichés about the world major nations (up to 10 points per each nationality). Then, each of the students will choose a nationality to represent and explain which difficulties (s)he encounters when socializing in different countries or with people of different national background. The rest of the students will offer the solutions for the problems described by each student.

It must be admitted that the racial bias are an integral part of the present-day world, which means that the racial prejudices must be dealt with once and for all in the given lesson. Racism No Way will offer sufficient help to achieve the given goal. It is important that the students should realize that the problem exists in the real world, which means that the inquiry learning theory (Pappas & Tepe, 2002) must be used. Once offering the students deal with the real-life situations, which can be represented as case studies, one can make sure that the students will be able to apply the obtained knowledge to reality.

Biology: Teaching the Basic Issues Concerning Living Organisms

Identifying place and space: local, natural, social and built environments – year 3, level 6

Text: Living environments in natural, social & economic systems

Link: http://www.ibe.colostate.edu/lenses.aspx

Organizational resource: Urban Ecology Australia

Learning student activity: The students will split in three groups. Each group will deal with one of the types of environments in question (natural, built, and social). The list of the key features of a chosen environment, three to five examples of the environment and its typical representatives (three to five species) are to be provided.

While Urban Ecology Australia deals with a lot of other issues than the existing natural, social and economical systems, it will still help students have a general idea of each system specifics. Therefore, the learning goals of the lesson will be met. In the given case, the organization will be able to offer sufficient visual aids and graphs, which means that the students will learn the new material practically on their own. Hence, inquiry theory must be applied (Leonard, 2002).

The Kingdom of Bacteria and Plants: from amoebas to algae – year 2, level 1

Text: Lecture 6. Domains and kingdoms

Link: http://faculty.plattsburgh.edu/neil.buckley/concepts%20in%20biology/lecture6domainsandkingdoms.htm

Organizational resource: Australian Institute of Biology

Learning student activity: The students will be provided with paper cutouts shaped like parts of algae/bacteria and offered to put these parts together. In addition, the students will have to label each part of the bacteria/algae correspondingly, explaining its primary functions.

With a lot of visual aids and models of cells, Australian Institute of Biology is a perfect place for students to learn about the existing kingdoms. Following the existing teaching of six kingdoms, Australian Institute of Biology will shape the students’ idea of bacteria and plants. Hence, the learning goal of finding out the basics concerning algae and bacteria will be met. Following the principles of activity theory, the students will be able to understand the ins and outs of amoebas and algae structure (Engeström, Miettinen, & Punamäki, 1999).

Cells and their constituents: plant cells and zooblasts – year 6, level 1

Text: Cell structure

Link: http://www.cod.edu/people/faculty/fancher/cellstructure.htm

Organizational resource: Adult Stem Cell Foundation

Learning student activity: listing the differences between plant cells and zooblasts and explaining why each of the specified features defines the role of the cell as the one in the structure of a plant or an animal.

It is necessary to mention, though, that Adult Stem Cell Foundation’s objectives concern rather studying the properties and specifics of human stem cells for further replication of human organs and using stem cells for surgeries as body implants. However, the Adult Stem Cell Foundation can also provide very detailed information on zooblasts and their structure. Therefore, it can be considered that Adult Stem Cell Foundation partially helps meet the objectives of the lesson. Nevertheless, it is important that the students learn about the structure of a plant cell before the given experience to be able to compare the two. Since Adult Stem Cell Foundation can provide certain cases of cells mutation, it can be considered that case-based learning theory (Kolodner, 2003) can be used here for the students to be able to see the difference between a normal and a mutated zoocell.

Evolution and its key stages: from amoebae to homo sapiens sapiens – year 2, level 6

Text: Amoeba may offer key clue to photosynthetic evolution

Link: http://dpb.carnegiescience.edu/article/amoeba-may-offer-key-clue-photosynthetic-evolution

Organizational resource: Big Picture Education Australia

Learning student activity: Each student picks a certain stage in the human evolution and explains in details its significance for the further people’s development, as well as from the development of the rest of organisms in general.

Making a good case for using an elaboration theory of leaning, Big Picture Education Australia will help to find out about the basic principles of the theory of evolution (Reigeluth, 2012). It can be considered that the learning goal will be fully met, since the organization will be able to provide detailed information on evolution theory. Following the teachings of Darwin, the offered material will explain the basic ideas of the theory, helping the students understand

Reference List

Engeström, Y., Miettinen, R. & Punamäki, R-L. (1999). Perspectives on activity theory. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Harris, F. (2012). Global environmental issues. New York City, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Janelle, D. C., Warf, B., & Hansen, K. (2004). Geographical perspectives on 100 problems. Norwell, MA: Springer.

Kolodner, J. L. (2003). Case-based learning. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishing Group.

Leonard, D. C. (2002). Learning theories: A to Z. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Pappas, M& Tepe, A. E. (2002). Pathways to knowledge and inquiry learning. Greenwood Village, CO: Libraries United.

Reigeluth, C. M. (2012). Instructional-design theories and models: A new paradigm of instructional theory. New York City, NY: Routledge.

Rideout, E. (2001). Transforming nursing education through problem-based learning. New York City, NY: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Sweller, Ayres & Kalyuga, 2011. Cognitive load theory. New York City, NY: Springer.

Well & Kincheloe, 2004. Critical thinking and learning: An encyclopedia for parents and teachers. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.

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