Data presentation and the new syllabus

In an early post, I mentioned the arrival of the Teacher Support Material for the new IB Biology guide and I would like to focus on the processing and presentation of data for this blog. I, like other Biology teachers have been continually frustrated by the diverse interpretations of IA samples that I have, in the past, mailed off. After one report, I decided the best way to understand the moderation process, was to become a moderator. That year, I confidently ...

Microbiology

My past experience of working with microbiology is small and the schools I have worked in, have generally kept away from using them. So when a student wished to base her extended essay on the manipulation of bacteria from three regions of her skin, and to culture at 37C; alarm bells began to ring and I began to perspire Via my membership with the Association of Science Education (ASE), I came across the following link from the Microbiology in Schools Advisory Committee. This ...

Changes to DP Biology (IV) Exam structure and assessment objectives

One of the big areas for change,  can be found in the exam structure. I will work through each paper in turn; Paper 1 A key change is the inclusion of objective 3 questions. The idea being to ask the students to apply knowledge gained, in new situations and for the paper not to be simply factual recall. The overall weighting of the paper remains at 20% with objectives 1+2 = 10% and objectives 3 = 10% There is no change to the number ...

Changes to DP Biology (III) Internal assessment

There have been some significant changes to the internal assessment portion of the  Group 4 Diploma subjects, and they include the following: The  weighting of experimental work to the overall grade has been reduced to 20% from 24% (I know this is stating the obvious, but it is worth emphasising that the syllabus content has now increased in weighting to 80%). Seven set practical activities have now become a mandatory component of the skills section (six in SL and one in HL) ...

Changes to DP Biology (II) Structure of the new course

Some aspects of the revised Biology Diploma course for 2015+ have not changed, yet as you would presumably anticipate, other aspects  have significant changes. The syllabus content structure (organisation)  is the same: there exists a core component / AHL component, Group 4 (though no longer assessed via Personal skills) and option material together with an internal assessment component. Though, students now only study one Option and both SL and HL have the same choices: Neurobiology Biotechnology Ecology and conservation Human Physiology The new syllabus gives focus to teaching ...

Species

I feel compelled to comment on the poor science that is in The Tomorrow People that I watched on television last night. The main protagonist (Stephen) has super powers that he has just discovered (I can accept the leap in science here as it is a Sci-fi show). But what I cannot accept, is that they constantly mention that he, and his new found friends with similar powers, as being a NEW species. The IB definition of a species: a group of organisms with similar ...

Biology Internal Assessment

I always think its worth while to reflect on the requirements of a successful write up for internal assessment. Its easy to develop a fixed mindset that the write up is an artifical construct that has been developed by teachers in schools that appears strange and out of touch with what happens "in the real world". To address this issue watch the following video. zcavPAFiG14 The key to a successful write up is to start with the understanding that its based upon scholarly ...

Academic Honesty

Yesterday I took part in a one hour IBO webinar on the topic of Academic Honesty. In the webinar we touched on some of the following points that I would like to share: Academic honesty is routed in the learner profile, in particular within attribute of "Principled". "They (students) act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that ...

Back to school

Perhaps you are returning to begin the second year of your IB Diploma, or gearing up to begin the IB? Or perhaps you are schooled in the southern hemisphere? One things for certain, the Internal Assessment programme is  a key focus for you and your teacher as you progress through the course. So with that in mind, I thought it worth while to highlight a video that explains how science works; through experimentation of the world around us, appropriate manipulation of variables ...

A ToK resource

As many of us get back into the run of things at the beginning of the new academic year I thought I would share with you this excellent resource for ToK. As diploma teachers for biology you are, in addition, teachers of the Theory of Knowledge. This has often been a source of anxiety for many and so I thought I would share this link. http://mrhoyestokwebsite.com/ It is useful for anyone teaching Theory of knowledge and will no doubt give you, as a biology ...