Courses > Grade 12
Biology, SBI4U, Grade 12, University Preparation
Policy Document: The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 11 to 12, Science, 2008 Ministry of Education of Ontario
This course provides students with the opportunity for in-depth study of the concepts and processes that occur in biological systems. Students will study theory and conduct investigations in the areas of biochemistry, metabolic processes, molecular genetics, homeostasis, and population dynamics. Emphasis will be placed on the achievement of detailed knowledge and the refinement of skills needed for further study in various branches of the life sciences and related fields.
Prerequisite: Biology, SBI3U, Grade 11, University Preparation
Summary of Units and Timelines
Below is the suggested sequence of course unit delivery as well as the recommended number of hours to complete the respective unit. Please note that while the unit called “Scientific Investigation Skills and Career Exploration” is not listed below however the specific expectations listed in this unit are threaded and incorporated within the delivery and assessment of the other five units. For complete details of targeted expectations within each unit and activity, please see each Unit Overview found in the course profile.
Fundamental Concepts Covered in This Course
This course is designed to provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge as well as a development of an attitude that supports these skills and knowledge responsibly. The course design is geared to meet and exceed the prerequisite requirements for studying chemistry at the University level. The framework of course delivery focuses the “big ideas” through the lens of the three goals of the science program as outlined on page 4 of the Ontario Ministry of Education document:
1. To relate science to technology, society, and the environment
2. To develop the skills, strategies, and habits of mind required for scientific inquiry
3. To understand the basic concepts of science
The organization of the course is packaged into five distinct units which correspond directly with the Ontario Curriculum, Grades 11 and 12 Science document. However, the order of the units has been redesigned to what the author considers a more logical flow of material as well as a progression of difficulty from a students’ perspective. In addition, a pre-unit has been added to review and assess the knowledge and skills of students prior to commencing the actual grade 12 course material. Teachers will be providing a diagnostic assessment at the beginning of the course; after the pre-unit. Teachers will be able to use the results of this diagnostic to identify gaps in concepts for learners and provide opportunities to bridge these gaps preparing all learners to be successful in the Grade 12 University biology course by establishing a strong prerequisite foundation.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Teachers will bring enthusiasm and varied teaching and assessment approaches to the classroom, addressing individual students’ needs and ensuring sound learning opportunities for every student. The activities offered should enable students to relate and apply these concepts to the social, environmental, and economical conditions and concerns of the world in which they live. Opportunities to relate knowledge and skills to these wider contexts will motivate students to learn in a meaningful way and to become life-long learners.
Teachers will help students understand that problem solving of any kind often requires a considerable expenditure of time and energy and a good deal of perseverance. Teachers also will encourage students to investigate, to reason, to explore alternative solutions and to take the risks necessary to become successful problem solvers.
Effective instructional approaches and learning activities draw on students’ prior knowledge, capture their interest, and encourage meaningful practise both inside and outside the classroom. Students will be engaged when they are able to see the connection between the scientific concepts they are learning and their application in the world around them and in real-life situations.
Due to its importance, students will have opportunities to learn in a variety of ways- individually, cooperatively, independently, with teacher direction, through hands-on experiences, and through examples followed by practice. The approaches and strategies teachers use will vary according to both the object of the learning and the needs of the students. Teachers will accomplish this in online environment with the use of: virtual labs, online simulations, animations, videos, discussion forums, live chat and other interactive objects.
Assessment & Evaluation for Student Achievement
The primary purpose of assessment and evaluation is to improve student learning. Information gathered through assessment helps teachers to determine students’ strengths and weaknesses in their achievement of the curriculum expectations in each course. This information also serves to guide teachers in adapting curriculum and instructional approaches to students’ needs and in assessing the overall effectiveness of programs and classroom practices. As part of assessment, teachers provide students with descriptive feedback that guides their efforts towards improvement.
Evaluation refers to the process of judging the quality of student work on the basis of established criteria, and assigning a value to represent that quality. All curriculum expectations must be accounted for in instruction, but evaluation focuses on students’ achievement of the overall expectations. A students’ achievement of the overall expectations is evaluated on the basis of his or her achievement of related specific expectations. Teachers will use their professional judgement to determine which specific expectations should be used to evaluate achievement of overall expectations, and which ones will be covered in instruction and assessment but not necessarily evaluated.
In order to ensure that assessment and evaluation are valid and reliable, and that they lead to the improvement of student learning, teachers must use assessment and evaluation strategies that:
Address both what students learn and how well they learn;based both on the categories of knowledge and skills and on the achievement level descriptions given in the achievement chartvaried in nature, administered over a period of time, and designed to provide opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;appropriate for the learning activities used, the purposes of instruction, and the needs and experiences of the students;fair to all students;students with special education needs, consistent with the strategies outlined in their Individual Education Plan;the needs of students who are learning the language of instruction;that each student is given clear directions for improvement;students’ ability to assess their own learning and to set specific goalsthe use of samples of students’ work that provide evidence of their achievement;communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the school year and at other appropriate points throughout the school year.
The achievement chart for science outlines four categories of knowledge and skills. They include; knowledge and understanding, thinking and investigation, communication and application. Teachers will ensure that student work is assessed and/or evaluated in a balanced manner with respect to the four categories, and that achievement of particular expectations is considered within the appropriate categories.
A final grade is recorded for this course, and a credit is granted and recorded for this course if the student’s grade is 50% or higher. The final grade for this course will be determined as follows:
All students can succeed. Some students are able, with certain accommodations, to participate in the regular course curriculum and to demonstrate learning independently. Accommodations allow access to the course without any changes to the knowledge and skills the student is expected to demonstrate. The accommodations required to facilitate the student’s learning must be identified in his or her Individual Education Plan (IEP). Instruction based on principles of universal design and differentiated instruction focuses on the provision of accommodations to meet the diverse needs of learners.
Examples of accommodations (but not limited to) include:
Adjustment and or extension of time required to complete assignments or summative tasksalternative assignments or summative tasksof scribes and/or other assistive technologiesthe language of instruction
Teachers will bring additional resources and teaching materials that provide a rich and diverse learning environment. Units in this course profile make specific reference to the intended textbook for this course but can be substituted for any relevant and approved text.
Di, Giuseppe Maurice. Nelson Biology 12. Toronto: Nelson Thomson Learning, 2003. ISBN 0-17-625987-2
Blake, Leesa. McGraw-Hill Ryerson Biology 12. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2002. ISBN 0-07-088713-6
"HHMI's BioInteractive - Virtual Labs." Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Biomedical Research & Science Education (HHMI). Web. 22 June 2010. <http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/vlabs/>.
End, The. "Access Excellence:Virtual Field Trips and Labs." Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum. Web. 22 June 2010. <http://www.accessexcellence.org/RC/virtual.php>.
"BiologyLabs." Your Page Title. Web. 22 June 2010. <http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0073031208/student_view0/virtual_labs.html>.
"Human Disorders." Rush University Medical Center. Web. 22 June 2010. <http://www.rush.edu/