Welcome to the home page for a one-semester introductory biology course at Bryn Mawr College, fall semester, 2003.
Students (and visitors) should be aware that this is a "non-traditional" science course in several respects (see Science As Story Telling in Action for further background).
The course is organized in relation to the following general presumptions (see syllabus for specifics):
- Biology, like all science, is an ongoing process of trying to make sense of the world and one's relation to it by a recursive and unending process of making observations, summarizing the observations, and using the summaries to motivate new observations.
- Biology is of interest and is accessible to everyone, and is an essential tool in the repertoire of anyone who is themself trying to make sense of who they are and how they relate to the world around them.
- Biology, like all science, is best assimilated by a process in which students themselves work through in their own minds and in relation to their own experiences and understandings relevant observations and the summaries of those observations suggested by others. Education, like science, should be an ongoing process of making observations, summarizing the observations, and using the summaries to motivate new observations.
- Biology, like all science, is a social process, one in which the observations and tentative summaries are shared among individuals, so that each can benefit from the ongoing inquiries of others.
- For these reasons, students (like faculty) will be expected to actively engage in all aspects of the course, including making thoughts in progress available not only to other students in the course but to the world at large by way of an on-line forum and web papers.