Biological Science, Volume 1: The Cell, Genetic, and Development (2nd Edition)

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9780131502932: Biological Science, Volume 1: The Cell, Genetic, and Development (2nd Edition)

For courses in general biology for majors. Biological Science is a dynamic reference that involves students in the process of scientific discovery. Infused with the spirit of inquiry, Biological Science teaches students to think like biologists and prepares them for success in their upper division courses.

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About the Author:

Scott Freeman received his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Washington and was subsequently awarded an Albert Sloan Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Evolution at Princeton University. His research publications explore a range of topics, including the behavioral ecology of nest parasitism and the molecular systematics of the blackbird family. Scott teaches the majors' general biology course as a Lecturer at the University of Washington. He assisted in the groundbreaking and influential redesign of the course, which emphasizes an inquiry-based approach and the logic of experimental design. With Jon Herron, Scott is co-author of the standard-setting Evolutionary Analysis, which over 50,000 students have used to explore evolution with the same spirit of inquiry. He is currently conducting research on how active learning and peer teaching techniques affect student learning.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Cultural evolution can be defined as a change in the frequency of ideas and practices over time. Introductory biology courses and Biological Science are textbook examples.

The courses we design for our majors are changing in response to selection pressure from two sources: the knowledge explosion in biology and dramatic advances in research on how introductory students learn. The knowledge explosion has made it less and less viable to teach an introductory biology course that emphasizes the memorization of facts. At the same time, research on student learning has shown that introductory students struggle to differentiate key unifying concepts from supporting details and that the greatest gains in understanding occur when students have to apply the facts and concepts they are learning to new situations. In a recent article, Handelsman et al. noted that "There is mounting evidence that supplementing or replacing lectures with active learning strategies and engaging students in discovery and scientific learning and knowledge retention."

Instead of being satisfied with memorization, instructors are training students to use facts. The goal is to have students demonstrate a mastery of content and concepts by applying them in new contexts.

The second edition of Biological Science is designed to make the transition to active, higher-level learning easier for both professors and students. Every sentence and figure in the text has been revised with that goal in mind. process improves

Ease of Use

To make the transition to inquiry-based active learning easier, I made two major changes to the second edition: I increased the amount of content coverage to give you more flexibility in the topics you emphasize, and I added study aids to help students with the task of stepping up to a collegelevel biology course.

Increased Content Coverage

Compared with the first edition of Biological Science, this book contains much more content. Recommendations from well over 500 instructors guided decisions on which topics and terms to add. The goal was to provide students with more core coverage and vocabulary, and thereby provide instructors with more flexibility in designing a syllabus and better support for organizing lectures and labs. Experiments still play a central role in this edition, but I trimmed the overall number so that the remaining experiments could be developed more thorough with a clearer focus on the concept they illustrate. Throughout the text retains its commitment to presenting topics in the text of questions, hypotheses, tests, and conclusions. Facts are tools for understanding—not ends in themselves.

New Study Tools

As introductory biology instructors, one of our most important jobs is to help our students become better students. As my colleague Mary Pat Wenderoth says, "We need to help them learn how to learn." The students in our courses are novices in biology. Like novices in any field, they have a difficult time distinguishing important points from unimportant points. They also struggle with self-diagnosis—to recognize that they do not understand something well. To help students get better at studying biology, and to take some of the burden for doing so off you, this edition offers several new features:

  • Key Concepts are listed at the start of the chapter and then revisited in the Summary of Key Concepts. Each chapter's "big ideas" are laid out at the start, developed in detail, and then summarized.
  • Check Your Understanding boxes appear at the ends of key sections within each chapter. These features briefly summarize one or two fundamental points and then present two to three tasks that students should be able to complete in order to demonstrate a mastery of the material. These boxes a checkpoints—a way for students to make sure that they understand what is going an before they move ahead.
  • Diversity Boxes serve as the capstone for each of the chapters on biodiversity (Chapters 27-34). Their goal is to present a focused summary of features in key lineages. The detailed information about each group is tied to (1) where it occurs on the tree of life and (2) how and why the featured lineage diversified. Instead of swamping students with details during a traditional "march through lineages," the diversity boxes present selected information in a well-developed conceptual context.

The Forest and the Trees: Helping Students Synthesize and Unify

In addition to coping with an enormous amount of content this course, instructors have to manage its diversity. In Biological Science, the emphasis an inquiry and experimentation provides a unifying theme from biochemistry through ecosystem ecology. In addition, the text highlights the fundamental how and why questions of biology. How does this event or process occur at the molecular level? In an evolutionary context, why does it exist?

Most chapters include at least one case history of an analysis done at the molecular level. Natural selection is introduced by exploring the evolution of antibiotic resistance via point mutations in the RNA polymerase gene of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A box in the chapter on behavior features research on alleles that influence fruit-fly foraging behavior.

Similarly, evolutionary analyses do not begin or end with the unit on evolution. Concepts such as adaptation, homology, natural selection, and phylogenetic thinking are found in virtually every chapter. Unit 1, for example, presents traditional content in biochemistry—ranging from covalent bonding to the structure and function of macromolecules—in the context of chemical evolution and the origin of life. Meiosis is analyzed in terms of its consequences for generating genetic variation and hypotheses to explain the evolution of sex.

The overriding idea is that molecular and evolutionary analyses can help unify introductory biology courses, just as molecular tools and evolutionary questions are helping to unify many formerly disparate research fields within biology.

Supporting Visual Learners

Clear, attractive, and extensive graphics are critical to our success in the classroom. The second edition offers a major improvement in the visual presentation of the material. Kim Quillin has revised virtually every figure in the book to increase clarity, accuracy, and visual appeal and to tighten the focus on the central teaching point. Compared with the first edition, this book has 350 additional diagrams and 325 additional photographs.

To support active learning and conceptual understanding, the figures contain several important features:

  • Caption Questions and Exercises challenge students to critically examine the information in the figure-not just absorb it.
  • Experiment Boxes offer a standardized design to help students see how biologists answer questions by posing hypotheses and testing predictions, and to give students practice with interpreting data. In some experiment boxes, space is left blank for the null hypothesis, predicted outcomes, or conclusion. Students are challenged to fill them in.
  • Figure Pointers act like your hand at the whiteboard so that students can easily find a figure's central teaching point.

Throughout the revision, the goal was to build an art program that supports the book's focus on thinking like a biologist. Color is used judiciously to distinguish important points from supporting details and general context. Layouts flow from top to bottom or left to right, and extensive labeling lets students work through each figure in a step-by-step manner. The overall look and feel of the art is clean, clear, accessible, and inviting.

Serving a Community of Teachers

As instructors, we have at least four major texts available that are essentially well organized, well written, and beautifully illustrated encyclopedias of the life sciences. Biological Science is different. By de-emphasizing the encyclopedic approach to learning biology and focusing more on the questions and experimental tools that make the science come alive, my aim is to offer a book that is more readable, attractive, and contemporary than traditional texts. Learning concepts well enough to apply them to new examples and data sets may be more challenging for some students than simply memorizing facts, but also it is more compelling. By motivating the presentation with questions and then using facts as tools to find answers, students of biology may come to think and feel more like the people who actually do biology.

Thank you for your devotion to biology, for your commitment to teaching, and for considering Biological Science.

Scott Freeman
University of Washington

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