Equitable Access to Rigorous Biological Education

Jennifer Forrester, Science, Harding University High

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


This curriculum unit includes a problem-based learning project which address topics in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP) at the higher level (HL) in the content area of biology.  I use a variety of teaching strategies including inquiry based learning, quality teaching of English language learners (QTEL) and advancement via individual determination (AVID).  I chose these strategies and approaches to learning because they are research based and have been documented as best practices for all learners.  Two of the IB DP biology topics are covered in this curriculum unit:  topic 5-evolution and biodiversity and topic 11-animal physiology. Within each of the stated topics, there are subtopics that include the nature of science (NOS), understandings, theory of knowledge (TOK), international-mindedness, utilizations (real world applications), and applications and skills that serve as specific teaching points or standards to be addressed in a unit or task.  I have chosen to ground the two topics in my curriculum unit within one of the seven questions that drive developmental biology.  Each learning task will fall within “questions of evolution”.