Biology is fascinating. It is also that one subject which connects Science with the Common Man. The most common brush of a layman with the advancement and progress made by Science is the way it heals and treats common ailments and symptoms.
However, the issues associated with teaching and learning Biology are no less.
There is a huge list of concerns faced by students and teachers alike (I faced them as well!)
Though, there is always a solution, just as there are pills available for ailments and diseases.
- It is Not a Subject to be Studied Just with the Help of Books
If a student has to understand the functionality and the look of any organ, just by looking at the picture will not help. A look at the organ, in reality, will help them understand the organ and its utility better. It is imperative that the teachers and the Academy/School/College ensure that Biology sessions are not just about mere monologues. It is important to show the organ and its location in the body.
- Biology sessions should be more about living with Organisms
Living within a fish bowl (Merely studying books) and studying Biology will not make anyone a student of Biology. It is necessary for a student to know how the cycle of life works, how the food chains function, and how the process of evolution takes place. This does not mean that a student has to live and survive in the wilder terrains. He/She should have a mind evolved enough to observe and notice the functionalities pertinent to evolution and survival.
- Too Much of Content
Biology books are bulky and cumbersome. There should be a distinguished effort to reduce the length of textbooks and increase the usage of technology and 3D diagrams. 3D diagrams assist in understanding the formation of cells in a great manner. Books can often be replaced with CDs.
- Biology is Not a Foreign Language
Studying Biology is not about studying something totally new or unheard of. Biology students should be made aware of their bodies as well, just to make them comfortable with organs and their functionalities.
- Unable to Pose Questions
There are times when students are unable to pose questions related to Biology. At times, out of sheer pain of being mistaken and at times because of the aggressive behavior of the Teacher. These factors should be considered while hiring a Biology Teacher.
These factors create a lot of hurdles for Biology students. Few ways to get rid of these hindrances are:
- Hire a Biology Teacher who has a lot of maturity and knowledge. A teacher who lacks patience and the ability to handle temperaments is not a great choice.
- Encourage students to explore their surroundings. This will help them in widening their thought processes, and they will also seek answers to a lot of questions themselves.
- Biological terms are usually in Latin. Instead of cramming the terms blindly, it is necessary to know why the terms were used. This will ease, and, to a certain extent, eliminate the cramming process.
- Become familiar with blood, tissues, and cells. Do not shriek in horror when you see a dead lizard or blood oozing out. If you are someone who does so, then you are not meant for Biology.
- Be comfortable with technology, like studying with the help of CDs and online learning portals.
- A student of Biology should be an observer of life and its functions. So keep your mind open.
- Be comfortable with the names of medicines as they contain names of many salts associated with the preparation. So Biology is not just about studying Biology, it is about studying Physics and Chemistry as well.
- As a Student and a Biology Teacher, grab every opportunity to attend a health seminar or symposium. This will help in obliterating doubts in your mind with regards to the subject.
All over the world, teaching Biology has become a bone of contention, primarily because of the books associated. The simpler way out is not getting rid of the books, it is ensuring that the knowledge is presented in a simple and interesting manner.
A lot of students detest Dissections on living beings as well. In such a case, the Biologist/Teacher/Scholar can replace the dissection with a 3D model created to understand the parts of the body.
All it needs is passion and dedication to achieve the purpose of teaching Biology. It has to be a two way process. Instead of just downloading information to the students with the help of books, the session should be more of interaction.
Time for you to ensure that these steps are followed (as I did) and derive the best from this subject!
It is imperative that technology is re-introduced in Biology sessions soon. This will not only benefit the students at large, but also humanity in general.