Evolution and Curriculum Safari

The weight of the world on my shoulders.

The weight of the world on my shoulders.

S. I am at the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teachers in Houston. Each year CAST brings me to a different city in Texas and stage in my career, and it was here in Houston four years ago, my first year. In 2010, I saw my first presentation with Dr. Miller and his incredible work as a Biology writer and cell scientist. My task, as a pioneer curriculum writer for a new program at Rice University, was to incorporate his research for students statewide through a pilot Biology online curriculum program.

A. Seeing him speak yesterday, as a member of the Texas Science Education Leadership Association and now Senior Project Manager for the curriculum programs I’ve since written and directed, was a bit humbling. I remember how daunting my task was, four CASTS ago when I was just getting started, and how I’ve come full circle.

F. He shared his story of his harrowing work in the Georgia school trial and a picture of student-produced “we have fossils, we win” stickers; evidence of his humor and a reminder of the simple approach we Biology teachers took in writing our curriculum.

A. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, glancing at my bookshelf just now, to see my copy of ‘Finding Darwin’s God’ by him. Evolution issues, and how my tasks in creating curriculum have evolved, are what I’ve dedicated three years of my life to, and I remember him as an inspiration when I felt like I was taking such leap of faith in myself to accomplish the task I had been given.

R. There are so many reasons why I believe so passionately in science education. To me, science education is how I can help the world. If it means leading a team of teacher writers to produce six grades of comprehensive and hands-on secondary science online curriculum, of which Biology I was a main writer for, to be 100% Texas Standards aligned and hence be available to every student and district in Texas, well, that’s a start.

I. I understand that the Biology program is now 1 of 4 competitors in the state to reach this Texas Education Association milestone. I am humble.

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