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8.1: Learning Objectives - Biology

8.1: Learning Objectives - Biology


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Learning Objectives

After this lab you should be able to:

  1. Define and explain the purpose of aseptic technique.
  2. Identify aseptic techniques used in our lab, and apply them to clinical and home situations.
  3. Perform various transfer techniques and streak plating properly and without contamination.

“Out of 110 aseptic opportunities, 45 breaks in aseptic technique were observed. Other results revealed that 80 percent of the time peri-care was omitted, the integrity of the sterile field was contaminated 70 percent of the time, and 20 percent of the time contamination occurred with donning of sterile gloves. When evaluating how well the nurses performed the catheterization procedure as specified by the directions for use (DFU), 30 percent either omitted or incorrectly performed the steps” (1).


8.1 Learning by Association: Classical Conditioning

In the early part of the 20th century, Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936), shown in Figure 8.2, was studying the digestive system of dogs when he noticed an interesting behavioural phenomenon: the dogs began to salivate when the lab technicians who normally fed them entered the room, even though the dogs had not yet received any food. Pavlov realized that the dogs were salivating because they knew that they were about to be fed the dogs had begun to associate the arrival of the technicians with the food that soon followed their appearance in the room.

With his team of researchers, Pavlov began studying this process in more detail. He conducted a series of experiments in which, over a number of trials, dogs were exposed to a sound immediately before receiving food. He systematically controlled the onset of the sound and the timing of the delivery of the food, and recorded the amount of the dogs’ salivation. Initially the dogs salivated only when they saw or smelled the food, but after several pairings of the sound and the food, the dogs began to salivate as soon as they heard the sound. The animals had learned to associate the sound with the food that followed.

Pavlov had identified a fundamental associative learning process called classical conditioning. Classical conditioning refers to learning that occurs when a neutral stimulus (e.g., a tone) becomes associated with a stimulus (e.g., food) that naturally produces a behaviour. After the association is learned, the previously neutral stimulus is sufficient to produce the behaviour.

As you can see in Figure 8.3, 𔄜-Panel Image of Whistle and Dog,” psychologists use specific terms to identify the stimuli and the responses in classical conditioning. The unconditioned stimulus (US) is something (such as food) that triggers a naturally occurring response, and the unconditioned response (UR) is the naturally occurring response (such as salivation) that follows the unconditioned stimulus. The conditioned stimulus (CS) is a neutral stimulus that, after being repeatedly presented prior to the unconditioned stimulus, evokes a similar response as the unconditioned stimulus. In Pavlov’s experiment, the sound of the tone served as the conditioned stimulus that, after learning, produced the conditioned response (CR), which is the acquired response to the formerly neutral stimulus. Note that the UR and the CR are the same behaviour — in this case salivation — but they are given different names because they are produced by different stimuli (the US and the CS, respectively).

Figure 8.3 4-Panel Image of Whistle and Dog.

Conditioning is evolutionarily beneficial because it allows organisms to develop expectations that help them prepare for both good and bad events. Imagine, for instance, that an animal first smells a new food, eats it, and then gets sick. If the animal can learn to associate the smell (CS) with the food (US), it will quickly learn that the food creates the negative outcome and will not eat it the next time.


8.1: Learning Objectives - Biology

Biology is a highly diverse discipline, spanning levels of organization from the molecular to the ecological. Furthermore, some of the most exciting discoveries in recent years have come from the areas where previous distinct subdisciplines of biology now intersect. In addition, there is no single professional organization that speaks for all of biology, nor is there any organization that accredits graduate or undergraduate programs in biology or imposes specific standards. Accordingly, the Department of Biology at Utah State University follows generally accepted practices in its graduate programs, while adjusting its policies to meet the needs of our specific student population.

The diversity of biological sciences demands flexibility, so graduate training can be tailored to meet the unique needs and interests of the individual student. In addition, our Department prepares students for success in a variety of professional settings, including federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and commercial organizations such as biotechnology companies, as well as academic institutions. The Department encourages creative approaches to addressing research questions by a combination of scholarly review of the existing biological literature and close mentorship in the pursuit of new knowledge.

The Department of Biology awards four graduate degrees, the MS and PhD in Biology and the MS and PhD in Ecology. The latter two are awarded in conjunction with the Ecology Center of USU, a multi-departmental umbrella organization that establishes specific graduate requirements on top of those of its member departments. Nonetheless, the Biology and Ecology degrees in our Department are broadly similar, and the requirements and milestones of the two pairs of degrees are generally comparable.

The Department of Biology requires an independent research project for each of its graduate degree programs. Therefore, a thesis is required for both of our MS degrees we have no non-thesis option for the Master’s. The two doctoral degrees, of course, require completion of a dissertation. In all cases the written document and its underlying body of research must be defended by the student in a public forum. In general, the master’s and doctoral programs differ from one another in two primary respects. First, the master’s programs generally involve more coursework than the doctoral programs, relative to the amount of independent research the student performs. Second, the scope of the student’s own research program is much more expansive for those in the doctoral programs.

The specific learning objectives of the graduate programs in Biology and Ecology are (1) to comprehend a broad body of biological knowledge generally related to the student’s area of interest (2) to master the student’s specific area of interest to the degree necessary to conduct independent research in that field (3) to acquire the essential skills for conducting such research, including the use of appropriate instrumentation and analytical methods and (4) to achieve proficiency in written and oral communication, as applied to the student’s area of specialization.


II. Use Behavioral Verbs

Another useful tip for learning objectives is to use behavioral verbs that are observable and measurable. Fortunately, Bloom’s taxonomy provides a list of such verbs and these are categorized according to the level of achievement at which students should be performing. (See The Innovative Instructor post: A Guide to Bloom’s Taxonomy) Using concrete verbs will help keep your objectives clear and concise.

Here is a selected, but not definitive, list of verbs to consider using when constructing learning objectives:

assemble, construct, create, develop, compare, contrast, appraise, defend, judge, support, distinguish, examine, demonstrate, illustrate, interpret, solve, describe, explain, identify, summarize, cite, define, list, name, recall, state, order, perform, measure, verify, relate

While the verbs above clearly distinguish the action that should be performed, there are verbs to avoid when writing a learning objective. The following verbs are too vague or difficult to measure:

appreciate, cover, realize, be aware of, familiarize, study, become acquainted with, gain knowledge of, comprehend, know, learn, understand, learn


Module 7: Learning Objectives

After gathering all the required information in the front-end analysis, Instructional Designers should state the objectives for their lesson. Objectives are a very important part of the instructional design process.

Robert Mager is a key contributor to the instructional design field. he argued that all objectives should be measurable and observable. An objective that cannot be measured or observed is most likely not going to have much chance for evaluation. Mager also stated that effective objectives should include a condition statement, a performance statement, and a criterion statement.

All objectives should include 4 components, also known as the A-B-C-D format.

Audience
Behavior
Condition
Degree

When writing objectives, it is crucial to know the audience. It is also important to accurately describe the learner using either the course title or other characteristics.

Example: The Instructional Design learner should be able to.

• This element states what the learner will be doing
• Use action verbs to describe behavior
• Most behavior statements should be worded as follows: “should be able to…."
• Do not use verbs such as “learn” and “understand” because these verbs are not measurable or observable.

Example: At the end of the lesson, the Instructional Design learner should be able to explain the Adult Learning Theory.

• The circumstances under which the tasks are performed.
• Good objectives should include the condition under which the tasks are performed.

Example: "Given a desk reference guide…,"

The level the student must perform the task at.

Examples of degree statements: without error, successfully five times, by giving facts, on two different issue, etc.

Objectives can be terminal and enabling.

Terminal objectives describe what is expected of the learner by the end of the course. These objectives are more general than enabling, and they help Instructional Designers develop enabling objectives.

Example: Given realistic scenarios depicting the most common writing problems of the agency employees, the participant should be able to write business letters without errors.

Enabling Objectives support the terminal objectives. They define the skills, knowledge, or behaviors students must achieve to successfully complete terminal objectives.

Example: Given references, and videos related to professional writing, the participant should be able to complete all exercises with 100% accuracy.

Let's take a look at one of the examples of a four-part objective:

Given a video lecture on ISD, the Introduction to ISD learner should be able to identify the four components of an objective without error when given two opportunities to do so.

The four components of this objective are

1. Audience: the introduction to ISD learner
2. Behavior: the ability to identify the four components of an objective
3. Condition: the video lecture on ISD
4. Degree: the two opportunities to identify the four components without error.


Plant Breeding: Evolution and Objectives | Botany

In this article we will discuss about:- 1. History of Plant Breeding 2. Origin and Evolution of Crop Plants 3. Scope and Objectives.

History of Plant Breeding:

The process of plant breeding is assumed to be initiated nearly 7000 years ago with the beginning of human civilization. Bringing a wild species under human management as the source of food which can be referred to as the process of domestication. Movement of man from one place to another also helped the movement of cultivated plant species.

In this way the introduction of new plant species or varieties into new area from other parts of the world became an integral part of plant breeding today. Furthermore man has started the process of selection by selecting the best seeds or good grains from the field to be planted in future. The first artificial hybridization procedure to get the hybrid was car­ried out by Knight and described hybrid vigour.

After the rediscovery of Mendelism at the beginning of 20 th century, the concept of plant breeding underwent tremendous change. The cytogenetical principle behind plant breeding got sound base different selection methods, back-cross method, and the tech­niques for inbred line development were established.

Polyploid breeding, mutation breed­ing and ultimately the alien gene transfer method came into use. The non-conventional breeding methods through plant biotechnological approach have become the major thrust of twenty first century.

Origin and Evolution of Crop Plants:

A. Centres of Origin:

N. I. Vavilov has proposed that crop plants evolved from wild species in the areas showing diversity and termed them as primary centres of origin. From these places the crops moved to other areas with the movements of man. But in some areas, certain crop species show considerable diversity of forms although they did not originate there. Such areas are known as secondary centres of origin of these species.

Vavilov has suggested eight main centres of origin:

B. Patterns of Evolution:

There are three major lines of evolution pattern for various crops, those can be broadly classified as Mendelian variation, interspecific hybridization and polyploidy.

(A) Mendelian Variation:

Naturally occurring beneficial mutation causes genetic variability and these variability can be retained through hybridization and genetic recombination. Generally the macro-mutation produces a distinct mor­phological character or often affects several characters of a plant.

Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussel’s Sprouts-all have been originated from a common wild species of Brassica oleracea through mutation, they differ from each other with respect to few major genes. Natural selection procedure has acted on variation and several important crops have evolved through Mendelian varia­tion like barley, rice, peas, tomatoes, beans, etc.

(B) Interspecific Hybridization:

Generally the interspecific hybridization pro­duces sterile plants which are unable to produce any seeds. These can be re­peatedly back-crossed to one of the parents which help in restoration of geno­type of one parent along with few genes from other species.

This process is known as introgressive hybridization which leads to transfer of one species to another, thus playing an important role in evolution. For example, modern day maize has been developed by this kind of introgressive hybridization be­tween primitive maize variety and a wild grass Tripsacum.

Autopolyploidy (triploid or tetraploid) produces more vigour, larger flowers and fruits, e.g., cultivated banana, apple, watermelon are autotriploid. But allopolyploidy plays major role in crop evolution, it is the process of chromosome doubling of interspecific F1 hybrid.

Many impor­tant crop plants have been evolved in this way like Triticum, Gossypium, etc. Triticale is a man made allohexaploid developed from chromosome doubling of F1 hybrid between Secale cereale and tetraploid wheat.

C. Domestication and its Effects:

Domestication is the first step of making the wild weed species to cultivated plants. It is the process of bringing wild species under human management according to their needs. In other words domestication of plants is the change of the ideo-type to adopt them better to manmade environment.

Under domestication the wild spec les get changed to cultivated species mainly due to natural selection or human selection. In nature there is continuous selection by natural forces like temperature, soil, weather, pests, diseases, etc. The genotype which is more suited to a given environment leaves behind others which are less adaptive in nature.

Most of the characteristics of wild species have been affected under domestication which involves three processes like mutation, hybridization and gem-tic recombination under the influence of human selection or natural selection. Some characters have got changed, some have lost and many have developed during domestication.

Some of the important characters which have been affected are listed below:

1. Elimination or reduction of spattering of pods or spikes.

2. Elimination of dormancy period.

3. Decrease in toxins or other undesirable substances.

4. Increase in size of the grains or fruits.

5. Plant type change like decrease or increase in height, more number of tillers, leaf size, branching pattern, etc.

7. Increase in economic yields.

8. Change in photoperiodic behaviour.

11. Synchrony in flowering.

12. Loss of defensive adaptation likes hairs, thorns, etc.

13. Selection of bisexual variety rather than dioecious.

14. Decrease in variability.

15. Selection of polyploidy.

The crops like rice, wheat, barley, sugarcane, cotton, potato, tobacco, arhar have become cultivated types from the wild species through the process of domestication.

D. Origin of Crop Plants:

Origin of Rice:

Rice (Oryza sativa) had originated probably in 300 B.C. in South and South-East Asia. The cultivated forms might have been arisen from the wild species of rice like O. perennis (Fig. 1.1). From India rice moved to China and to Africa and America where during domestication three different forms has been originated: indica, japonica and javanica.

During domestication many morphological, physiological changes have occurred, starting from adaptation to habitats of normal lands and open sun to the shady swamps. Change in leaf shape and size, grain character and other plant type charac­ters differentiated O. sativa into three forms.

Triticum might have been originated about 6000 years ago in Afghanistan and South-Western Himalayas and then moved with man westwards and eastwards. In total, four species of Triticum is cultivated in India: T. durum, T. aestivum, T. dicoccum and T. turgidum which are allopolyploids (Fig. 1.2). During domestication the plant type has got changed with the major changed character in non-brittle rachis.

Out of four species of cotton (Gossypium) under cultivation, two are diploid and others two are tetraploid. The diploid cotton have been originated during Indus civilization about 2000 B.C. From India two species moved to Africa and America and there during domestication the tetraploid species have originated.

The major character which has been developed during domestication is the corboluted lint and its spinnability. The diploid species are G. arboreum, G. herbaceum whereas the tetraploid species are G. barbadense, G. hirsutum. New world cotton is an allotetraploid (Fig. 1.3).

This crop might have been originated in Central Asia and then differentiated into two types, small leaved China type and broad leaved Assam type. The China type (Camellia sinensis) further differentiated and domesticated in South China which has been introduced into India in the early part of 19 th century and the Assam type (C. assamica) had the secondary centre of origin in North East India.

Scope and Objectives of Plant Breeding:

The different methods of plant breeding for the improvement of crop are directed in the following aspects:

(i) Higher Productive Capacity:

This is the first and foremost objective of plant breeding programme, but this higher yield is associated with many other cri­teria like responsiveness to fertilizer, tillering capacity, resistance to disease or adverse situation, etc.

Besides quantitative characters, the quality of food grains is considered in plant breeding programme keeping an eye to market value, feeding quality and seed quality. High protein content, vitamin content, good amino acid profile, palatability, texture, large and bold grains, good colour all are qualitative characters.

(iii) Disease Resistance:

In contrast to chemical control of diseases and pests, ge­netic resistance conferred by resistant crop varieties is stable, safest and cheap­est which is highly desirable. The disease resistance can be categorized like insect, fungus, bacteria and virus resistant.

The plant breeding programme aims at developing the re­sistance or tolerance property against adverse environmental situation such as drought flood, cold, high salinity, etc. All these qualities are influenced and altered by genotype environment interaction.

(v) Agronomic Properties:

Most of the agronomic properties are often desirable as those are associated with some other characters linked with higher yield, such as dwarfness of cereal crop is associated with lodging resistance more number of tillers is associated with more yields.

(vi) Change in Maturity Duration and Synchronous Maturity:

The duration for maturity of particular crop can be reduced which helps in multiple crops ping and permits new crop rotation. Synchronous maturity is needed mainly in food crop for good harvesting.

(vii) Physiological Properties:

Development of insensitivity against photoperiod and temperature is very much desirable in case of crops like rice, wheat, etc., so that the same variety can be cultivated in different areas and in different seasons.

Dormancy is another criterion which is desirable in case of crop plants because if there is rain at the time of maturity, the seeds get germinated in field before harvesting. But in some other cases it is desirable to remove dormancy.

(viii) Varieties for New Seasons:

The crops cultivated in India can be broadly sub­divided into two categories like Rabi and Kharif. But if the crop can be ad­justed to grow in new season then the same crop may be cultivated throughout the year.

(ix) Varieties for New Areas:

Newer varieties are developed by plant breeders which are adapted to wider areas and newer agro-climates. Many of the tem­perate crops by continued selection can be adapted to tropical or sub-tropical conditions.

(x) Some Other Desirable Properties Specific to Crop:

In case of leguminous crop non-shattering is one of the desirable characters. Elimination of toxic substances from particular crop sometimes become essential such as khesari seeds have neurotoxin chemical, Brassica seeds contain undesirable erucic acid. Removal of these substances increase the nutritional value of crop.


Contents

Although named after Bloom, the publication of Taxonomy of Educational Objectives followed a series of conferences from 1949 to 1953, which were designed to improve communication between educators on the design of curricula and examinations. [3]

The first volume of the taxonomy, Handbook I: Cognitive [1] was published in 1956, and in 1964 the second volume Handbook II: Affective was published. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] A revised version of the taxonomy for the cognitive domain was created in 2001. [9]

In the 1956 original version of the taxonomy, the cognitive domain is broken into the six levels of objectives listed below. [10] In the 2001 revised edition of Bloom's taxonomy, the levels have slightly different names and the order is revised: Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate, and Create (rather than Synthesize). [9] [11]

Knowledge Edit

Knowledge involves recognizing or remembering facts, terms, basic concepts, or answers without necessarily understanding what they mean. Its characteristics may include:

  • Knowledge of specifics—terminology, specific facts
  • Knowledge of ways and means of dealing with specifics—conventions, trends and sequences, classifications and categories
  • Knowledge of the universals and abstractions in a field—principles and generalizations, theories and structures

Example: Name three common varieties of apple.

Comprehension Edit

Comprehension involves demonstrating an understanding of facts and ideas by organizing, summarizing, translating, generalizing, giving descriptions, and stating the main ideas.

Example: Summarize the identifying characteristics of a Golden Delicious apple and a Granny Smith apple.

Application Edit

Application involves using acquired knowledge—solving problems in new situations by applying acquired knowledge, facts, techniques and rules. Learners should be able to use prior knowledge to solve problems, identify connections and relationships and how they apply in new situations.

Example: Would apples prevent scurvy, a disease caused by a deficiency in vitamin C?

Analysis Edit

Analysis involves examining and breaking information into component parts, determining how the parts relate to one another, identifying motives or causes, making inferences, and finding evidence to support generalizations. Its characteristics include:

Example: Compare and contrast four ways of serving foods made with apples and examine which ones have the highest health benefits.

Synthesis Edit

Synthesis involves building a structure or pattern from diverse elements it also refers to the act of putting parts together to form a whole. Its characteristics include:

  • Production of a unique communication
  • Production of a plan, or proposed set of operations
  • Derivation of a set of abstract relations

Example: Convert an "unhealthy" recipe for apple pie to a "healthy" recipe by replacing your choice of ingredients. Argue for the health benefits of using the ingredients you chose versus the original ones.

Evaluation Edit

Evaluation involves presenting and defending opinions by making judgments about information, the validity of ideas, or quality of work based on a set of criteria. Its characteristics include:

Example: Which kinds of apples are best for baking a pie, and why?

Skills in the affective domain describe the way people react emotionally and their ability to feel other living things' pain or joy. Affective objectives typically target the awareness and growth in attitudes, emotion, and feelings.

There are five levels in the affective domain moving through the lowest-order processes to the highest.

Receiving Edit

The lowest level the student passively pays attention. Without this level, no learning can occur. Receiving is about the student's memory and recognition as well.

Responding Edit

The student actively participates in the learning process, not only attends to a stimulus the student also reacts in some way.

Valuing Edit

The student attaches a value to an object, phenomenon, or piece of information. The student associates a value or some values to the knowledge they acquired.

Organizing Edit

The student can put together different values, information, and ideas, and can accommodate them within his/her own schema the student is comparing, relating and elaborating on what has been learned.

Characterizing Edit

The student at this level tries to build abstract knowledge.

Skills in the psychomotor domain describe the ability to physically manipulate a tool or instrument like a hand or a hammer. Psychomotor objectives usually focus on change and/or development in behavior and/or skills.

Bloom and his colleagues never created subcategories for skills in the psychomotor domain, but since then other educators have created their own psychomotor taxonomies. [7] Simpson (1972) [12] proposed the following levels:

Perception Edit

The ability to use sensory cues to guide motor activity: This ranges from sensory stimulation, through cue selection, to translation.

Examples: Detects non-verbal communication cues. Estimate where a ball will land after it is thrown and then moving to the correct location to catch the ball. Adjusts heat of the stove to correct temperature by smell and taste of food. Adjusts the height of the forks on a forklift by comparing where the forks are in relation to the pallet.

Key words: chooses, describes, detects, differentiates, distinguishes, identifies, isolates, relates, selects.

Set Edit

Readiness to act: It includes mental, physical, and emotional sets. These three sets are dispositions that predetermine a person's response to different situations (sometimes called mindsets). This subdivision of psychomotor is closely related with the "responding to phenomena" subdivision of the affective domain.

Examples: Knows and acts upon a sequence of steps in a manufacturing process. Recognizes his or her abilities and limitations. Shows desire to learn a new process (motivation).

Keywords: begins, displays, explains, moves, proceeds, reacts, shows, states, volunteers.

Guided response Edit

The early stages of learning a complex skill that includes imitation and trial and error: Adequacy of performance is achieved by practicing.

Examples: Performs a mathematical equation as demonstrated. Follows instructions to build a model. Responds to hand-signals of the instructor while learning to operate a forklift.

Keywords: copies, traces, follows, reacts, reproduces, responds.

Mechanism Edit

The intermediate stage in learning a complex skill: Learned responses have become habitual and the movements can be performed with some confidence and proficiency.

Examples: Use a personal computer. Repair a leaking tap. Drive a car.

Key words: assembles, calibrates, constructs, dismantles, displays, fastens, fixes, grinds, heats, manipulates, measures, mends, mixes, organizes, sketches.

Complex overt response Edit

The skillful performance of motor acts that involve complex movement patterns: Proficiency is indicated by a quick, accurate, and highly coordinated performance, requiring a minimum of energy. This category includes performing without hesitation and automatic performance. For example, players will often utter sounds of satisfaction or expletives as soon as they hit a tennis ball or throw a football because they can tell by the feel of the act what the result will produce.

Examples: Maneuvers a car into a tight parallel parking spot. Operates a computer quickly and accurately. Displays competence while playing the piano.

Key words: assembles, builds, calibrates, constructs, dismantles, displays, fastens, fixes, grinds, heats, manipulates, measures, mends, mixes, organizes, sketches. (Note: The key words are the same as in mechanism, but will have adverbs or adjectives that indicate that the performance is quicker, better, more accurate, etc.)

Adaptation Edit

Skills are well developed and the individual can modify movement patterns to fit special requirements.

Examples: Responds effectively to unexpected experiences. Modifies instruction to meet the needs of the learners. Performs a task with a machine that was not originally intended for that purpose (the machine is not damaged and there is no danger in performing the new task).

Key words: adapts, alters, changes, rearranges, reorganizes, revises, varies.

Origination Edit

Creating new movement patterns to fit a particular situation or specific problem: Learning outcomes emphasize creativity based upon highly developed skills.

Examples: Constructs a new set or pattern of movements organized around a novel concept or theory. Develops a new and comprehensive training program. Creates a new gymnastic routine.

Key words: arranges, builds, combines, composes, constructs, creates, designs, initiates, makes, originates.

In the appendix to Handbook I, there is a definition of knowledge which serves as the apex for an alternative, summary classification of the educational goals. This is significant as the taxonomy has been called upon significantly in other fields such as knowledge management, potentially out of context. "Knowledge, as defined here, involves the recall of specifics and universals, the recall of methods and processes, or the recall of a pattern, structure, or setting." [13]

The taxonomy is set out as follows:

  • 1.00 Knowledge
    • 1.10 Knowledge of specifics
    • 1.11 Knowledge of terminology
    • 1.12 Knowledge of specific facts
    • 1.20 Knowledge of ways and means of dealing with specifics
    • 1.21 Knowledge of conventions
    • 1.22 Knowledge of trends and sequences
    • 1.23 Knowledge of classifications and categories
    • 1.24 Knowledge of criteria
    • 1.25 Knowledge of methodology
    • 1.30 Knowledge of the universals and abstractions in a field
    • 1.31 Knowledge of principles and generalizations
    • 1.32 Knowledge of theories and structures

    As Morshead (1965) pointed out on the publication of the second volume, the classification was not a properly constructed taxonomy, as it lacked a systematic rationale of construction.

    This was subsequently acknowledged in the discussion of the original taxonomy in its 2001 revision, [9] and the taxonomy was reestablished on more systematic lines.

    Some critiques of the taxonomy's cognitive domain admit the existence of these six categories but question the existence of a sequential, hierarchical link. [14] Often, educators view the taxonomy as a hierarchy and may mistakenly dismiss the lowest levels as unworthy of teaching. [15] [16] The learning of the lower levels enables the building of skills in the higher levels of the taxonomy, and in some fields, the most important skills are in the lower levels (such as identification of species of plants and animals in the field of natural history). [15] [16] Instructional scaffolding of higher-level skills from lower-level skills is an application of Vygotskian constructivism. [17] [18]

    Some consider the three lowest levels as hierarchically ordered, but the three higher levels as parallel. [9] Others say that it is sometimes better to move to application before introducing concepts, [ citation needed ] the goal being to create a problem-based learning environment where the real world context comes first and the theory second, to promote the student's grasp of the phenomenon, concept, or event.

    The distinction between the categories can be seen as artificial since any given cognitive task may entail a number of processes. It could even be argued that any attempt to nicely categorize cognitive processes into clean, cut-and-dried classifications undermines the holistic, highly connective and interrelated nature of cognition. [19] This is a criticism that can be directed at taxonomies of mental processes in general.

    The taxonomy is widely implemented as a hierarchy of verbs, designed to be used when writing learning outcomes, but a 2020 analysis showed that these verb lists showed no consistency between educational institutions, and thus learning outcomes that were mapped to one level of the hierarchy at one educational institution could be mapped to different levels at another institution. [20]

    Bloom's taxonomy serves as the backbone of many teaching philosophies, in particular, those that lean more towards skills rather than content. [8] [9] These educators view content as a vessel for teaching skills. The emphasis on higher-order thinking inherent in such philosophies is based on the top levels of the taxonomy including application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. [ citation needed ] Bloom's taxonomy can be used as a teaching tool to help balance evaluative and assessment-based questions in assignments, texts, and in-class engagements to ensure that all orders of thinking are exercised in students' learning, including aspects of information searching. [21]

    Bloom's taxonomy (and the revised taxonomy) continues to be a source of inspiration for educational philosophy and for developing new teaching strategies. The skill development that takes place at higher orders of thinking interacts well with a developing global focus on multiple literacies and modalities in learning and the emerging field of integrated disciplines. [22] The ability to interface with and create media would draw upon skills from both higher order thinking skills (analysis, creation, and evaluation) and lower order thinking skills (knowledge, comprehension, and application). [23] [24]


    8th Grade Curriculum and Homeschool Learning Objectives

    This page will help you discover what eighth graders are expected to learn and what 8th grade homeschool curriculum will help them most to succeed this year and prepare them for high school.

    Eighth grade brings a critical transition for all children, whether homeschooling or not. Your child should graduate from elementary studies to more mature studies. This means they are thinking more about their future and what they might like to do as a career later in life. This is the last year before entering high school, so it is important that your child start thinking about the future and learning more responsibly. Grades start to really matter from this year on throughout high school.

    Make sure you are meeting all responsibilities as a homeschool in your state, but continue to personalize your lesson plans to your child’s interests and personalities.

    Eighth Grade Students

    Eighth grade is a time of transition for students in social, physical and academic areas. This combination of various factors can make the eighth grade year challenging, but if you have given your student a good foundation through homeschooling, they will be ready to hit the ground running.

    Especially in regard to academics, students will need to realize that their current academic performance is setting them up for the academic track they will follow at least through the beginning of high school. If they do well in eighth grade, this will give them a strong foundation headed into the more rigorous high school years.

    General Academic Objectives of the 8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum

    As you teach your eighth grader, much of your focus should go towards academics in order to improve your child’s placement in ninth grade. In a public school, once a student is placed on a particular academic track as a freshman in high school, it can be difficult to move to a more skilled track later in high school. The advantage of homeschooling is that you can change directions quickly if you sense your child is ready for more. Be alert to these needs throughout the eighth grade year.

    In Math, you should make sure your eighth grader is comfortable with foundational math concepts. This would be a good time for their first exposure to some of the algebra and geometry concepts that will be excellent building blocks for much of the math they will do in high school.

    On the social side, eighth graders should be learning to work and play well with others. Their friendships may change to some degree, and they will experience an increasing desire for independence. They will look forward to other social challenges as well. Because you are homeschooling, you may not experience as many interpersonal challenges with your child and other eighth graders, but you should also make sure he or she knows how to interact well with their peers.

    A big part of helping homeschool students develop these important skills is encouraging them to develop a mindset that inspires them to get up and get moving. Many students are content with doing the minimum amount of work possible, but this attitude will just cause them to struggle more once high school beings. You should attempt to inspire them to new heights!

    Reading/Language Arts Objectives:

    • Become comfortable expressing feelings and opinions in writing
    • Compare/contrast or analyze through written essays
    • Learn how to take effective notes
    • Use notes to create in-depth written pieces
    • Start reading and responding to speeches and more opinionated pieces of writing

    Mathematics Objectives:

    • Continue learning geometry concepts
    • Continue learning algebra, if it has not already been mastered
    • Understand how to work with ratios, percentages, and proportions
    • Continue to relate mathematics to the surrounding world and modern life

    Science Objectives:

    • Dissect plant matter
    • Understand concepts of energy
    • Learn more about the functioning of the human body

    Social Studies Objectives:

    • Read and study the Constitution of the U.S.
    • Discuss and understand political systems
    • Understand history in chronological order
    • Extensive studies into civics

    A Valuable Skill

    An especially important skill for eighth graders to begin to practice is study and time management skills.

    It will be much easier for students to practice these organizational and planning skills before their work gets too complex and pressurized in high school. If they develop these basic habits right now, they will be well-served when the work gets harder.

    As a homeschool parent, you should also help your student learn how to make decisions about how he or she will spend the time they do have. This will become magnified in high school as well, so make sure your child develops this important skill now.

    Eighth grade is also a great time for students to begin studying a foreign language – in most cases that language will be Spanish or French. This is another area where laying a good foundation is critical to success as your child becomes more and more proficient with the language.

    Basic Tips for Teaching Eighth Grade:

    • Try to get your child more comfortable speaking out loud and communicating with others while in this grade. Rather than giving paper tests all the time, ask them questions and have them verbally express their answers. Engage them on their personal beliefs and thoughts, rather than following the textbook all the time.
    • It is important for your child to be a proficient reader by the end of the eighth grade. They will struggle with high school academics if they are unable to comprehend everything they read, including more complex texts.
    • Eighth graders may not work with spelling word lists, but they should continue to develop a more complex vocabulary. This typically comes through reading and understanding more complex texts.
    • Try to incorporate events happening in the news when you design your lesson plans for your eighth grader. At this age, students are looking into the world and are very alert to what is happening around them. They may feel insecure or sad when bad things happen, and they may notice things related to the economic climate and their personal lives. These things directly impact their world, so you can tie social studies and science experiments and topics of discussion to what is happening in the real world. This makes it real to them, and they are more likely to understand and remember what is being taught.
    • Start preparing your child for high school as early as possible. They will start getting anxious to take driver’s education and gain more freedom, so it may be difficult to keep them focused on their studies. This is where parenting and homeschooling may turn more difficult, but it is worth it in the long run to keep your budding teenager focused and on track.

    Highest-Rated Complete 8th Grade Curriculum Options:

    Alpha Omega Switched on Schoolhouse — Eighth graders should be encouraged to be independent using this program. It also teaches them to manage their work using the built-in lesson and assignment planner which will become increasingly important as they move into high school and college level courses over the next few years.
    Alpha Omega LifePacs –This comprehensive mastery learning program can easily be used as an independent curriculum at this age.
    Sonlight — Sonlight’s core options for 8th graders integrate history, English and language arts into one challenging program.

    Science Favorite:

    Apologia Science — Middle school programs through Apologia are a great way to prepare your student for more difficult high-school level science courses.

    Top Math Choices:

    RightStart Mathematics – We’ve used this in our household and love it. Read the review to learn more!
    Saxon Math Algebra 1/2 — A great math program to prepare students for their high school math courses.
    Teaching Textbooks — For the child who is less enthusiastic about math, this is a great option. We would suggest the package that includes both the CD-Rom AND the worksheets for best results.

    General Homeschooling Information

    These resources are books, magazines and websites that give you more information about homeschooling your child. Take advantage of these resources!

    Home Education Magazine
    This publication comes out every other month and provides you with in-depth interviews, stories, articles, and columns about both the challenges and joys of homeschooling your children.

    Homeschool Central
    Homeschool Central is a publication that provides important resources to homeschooling families. This is a good place to start if you are looking for a support group in your area.

    Home School Legal Defense Association
    The HSLDA is a nonprofit advocacy association that gives legal perspectives and advice to parents who homeschool their children. HSLDA provides valuable information on each state’s homeschooling guidelines. If you need to know more about any homeschooling legal issues that might pop up in your state, you can also look at the “My State” page of their website.

    National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI)
    NHERI is a great repository of statistics and facts about homeschooling. Check here if you need any statistical information to make your case for the benefits of homeschooling.

    Classical Homeschooling

    Classical Homeschooling Magazine
    Classical Homeschooling Magazine is a free online publication that focuses on the basics of classical homeschooling, including the Great Books movement, the Socratic Method and poetic knowledge.

    “The Well-Trained Mind,” by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise
    Home educator and literature professor Susan Wise Bauer, along with her mother, wrote this detailed guide to homeschooling in the classical tradition.

    We hope these resources for an 8th grade homeschool curriculum are helpful to you. You will find lots of good information at the various links, and the general objectives on this page should give you a good idea of where your student needs to be by the time he or she finishes eighth grade. While every state is slightly different in respect to the standards they expect, if you follow the guides above, you should be in good shape as your student heads into high school.

    We know you will find success as you begin to work your way through these 8th grade homeschool curriculum exercises and resources – start today!


    Reading, Writing, Living

    Ms. Templora’s Biology class is relentlessly standards-oriented, and moreover, students absolutely have the hang of her classroom routines, so that they can make organized, steady progress toward meeting those standards. I appreciated the functional structure of Ms. Templora’s class and the way in which she seamlessly used humor to keep her students’ attention and get them to understand concepts.

    Ms. Templora began class with a general overview of the goals for the last unit of the year. Instead of explaining the activities the students would be doing, she explained what concepts they would be learning—specifically, ecology, because, as she pointed out, understanding of ecology is one of the state standards for biology. She then said, “Journals out, please,” told them what title to give the new page, and wrote out the specific knowledge, comprehension, and skill level goals on the whiteboard while all students copied them into their journals. It was clear that the students had done this many times before, for they were all writing and side chatter was at a minimum even though Ms. Templora had her back to the class to write on the board. I wonder how much of this wonderful self-discipline comes from Ms. Templora’s explicitly established and reinforced guidelines, how much from the fact that these students are younger and apparently less world-weary than my 11 th graders, how much from the type of class (science being often more step-by-step than English), and how much from other factors.

    I could tell that laying out these learning objectives so explicitly at the beginning of the unit would allow both the teacher and the students to track their progress through the unit and would facilitate formative assessment. I plan to make communicating my objectives to students ahead of time even more of a priority in my classroom than it has been so far. Stating objectives keeps everyone on track and accountable for progress. Similarly, later in the period, Ms. Templora passed out a video guide with questions about a short documentary the class was to watch (The Queen of Trees), and she read over the questions with the class before beginning the film. This simple preview activity, I think, got students interested in the film, warned them what to watch for, and removed the temptation for students to try to read the questions in the dark while the film was playing. Reading the questions ahead of time is a smaller-scale instance of stating learning objectives so that teacher and students both know where the next activity is going to help the class go.


    Affiliations

    Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, One University Station C0990, Austin, TX, 78712, USA

    Daniel I. Bolnick, Natalie Steinel & Austin W. Reynolds

    Department of Medical Education, Dell Medical School, University of Texas at Austin, One University Station D2000, Austin, TX, 78712, USA

    Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin, 2201 Speedway, Stop C3200, Austin, TX, 78712, USA

    Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, 305 E. 23rd St., Stop G1800, Austin, TX, 78712, USA


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