Standard IV - Planning for Instruction
EPLO 2 - Liberal Arts, 3 - Education Foundations

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Jonathan Taft Sallée

The competent teacher understands instructional planning and designs instruction based upon knowledge of the discipline, students, the community, and curriculum goals.

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Two of Your Ancestors WebQuest View Entry

While this WebQuest project conforms to the standard stated in the Teachers’ Page, my inspiration was much deeper.  Curriculum needs to conform not only to state standards; it must conform to the standards of the students’ interest, the standard of truth, as well as the standards of the discipline that deserves to be taught.  The ultimate goal of this exercise is critical, scientific thinking.  While the amalgam of facts and ideas is important to the students’ knowledge, the essential reason for teaching science is to train them to be able to see through the lens of scientific awareness: to think as scientists do. 

Evolution was an easy choice.  While it is controversial, it is also scientifically accepted, called upon by state education standards from late elementary through high school, terribly interesting, and often misunderstood.  This misunderstanding must be corrected, to be sure.  More important, though, is the fact that it can provide the students the necessary gentle challenges to their own preconceived notions they need in order to open their minds up to learning in a deep and complete way.  The various adaptations of each species are readily apparent; the idea of adaptation is slightly more challenging.  The students’ minds must stretch beyond the usual assumption—that an individual adapts to his or her environment.  This WebQuest gives examples of multiple adaptive requirements for the species, showing both successful and unsuccessful adaptations for each, challenging this assumption with the equally powerful concept of survival as it pertains to individuals versus their species as a whole.


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