Using Cases to Teach Biology

October 18, 2012    

1:30-3:30 PM       Babcock 119      UW-Madison


Ethel D. Stanley, Senior Consultant, BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Presentation supported by the Science Case Network website

Who's teaching? Who's learning? (Atebara 1987)

 Case studies and problem based learning (PBL) are teaching approaches in which students are provided with a narrative to consider. They collaboratively identify what they already know and need to know before they address the issue(s) at hand. In science cases, students also share their scientific reasoning, design and conduct investigations, and report their findings to their peers.

This workshop will start with a case. Participants will have an opportunity to pose questions, analyze data, think critically, examine the relationship between evidence and conclusions, construct hypotheses,  graph data, interpret results, communicate scientific arguments, and connect the issues and the science with a broader world view.

Introductory Case:  

Audio Case : 

“There Wasn’t a Mine Runnin’ a Lump O’ Coal”: A Kentucky Coal Miner Remembers

Case Analysis   

Work in small groups to fill in an online form for sharing our responses with the larger group.

Responses to Case Analysis

Biological Inquiry: A Workbook of Investigative Cases (Waterman and Stanley, 2011)

Workshop  Resources: 

Make a Case
“Castaways”  based on  The Science of Stowaways

American Association for the Advancement of Science. (2010). Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action. Washington, DC: AAAS (Accessed Mar 2012)

Herreid, C.F. (Ed.) (2007). Start with a Story: The Case Study Method of Teaching College Science. Arlington, VA: National Science Teachers Association

National Science Foundation. (2008). Fostering Learning in the Networked World: The Cyberlearning Opportunity and Challenge. Washington, DC: NSF. (Accessed Mar 2012)

National Research Council. (2000). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. (Accessed Mar 2012)

National Research Council. (2009). A New Biology for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. (Accessed Mar 2012)

Stanley, E. and M. Waterman. (2003). Using Investigative Cases in Geoscience. (Accessed Dec 2011)

Waterman, M. and E. Stanley. (2010). Biological Inquiry: A Workbook of Investigative Cases. (3rd. ed.) San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (2010). ICT Competency Framework for Teachers. (Accessed Dec 2011)

University of California Museum of Paleontology. (2012). Understanding Science: What is Science? (Accessed Mar 2012)

Vohra, Faquir C. (2000). Changing Trends in Biology Education: An International Perspective. (Accessed Mar 2012)

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