Chapter 0: Instructor's Guide to Integrating Concepts in Biology

The articles in this section comprise a brief tutorial on how teachers and students can use this resource to maximize their teaching and learning gains, respectively.  One section includes an important Bio-Math Exploration on interpreting statistical tests.

Over the past 50 years, research in biology has undergone a dramatic transformation, becoming more quantitative and interdisciplinary, and relying more heavily on the other sciences, including physics, chemistry, mathematics, and geology. For example, to understand large, rapidly changing ecosystems, or to make sense of the massive amounts of data produced by the Human Genome Project, biologists must use modern mathematical, statistical, computational, and technological tools. 

Yet during this time of dramatic transformation in our understanding of biology, biology textbooks have not kept pace, except in the volume of content to be memorized. Introductory biology textbooks de-emphasize the process of science and are not consistent with research into how people learn. Instead, textbooks contain ever-expanding lists of vocabulary words that most students will forget soon after the course is completed. A book that passively presents large volumes of information deprives you of the opportunity to learn the way real scientists learn–– through discovery. Despite more than a century of recognized need for change, introductory biology textbooks have failed to evolve.