In this article we will discuss about:- 1. Meaning of Biological Sciences 2. History of Biological Sciences 3. Objectives 4. Biological Sciences and Society 5. Biological Sciences for Environment 6. Values Imbibed.
- Meaning of Biological Sciences
- History of Biological Sciences
- Objectives of Biological Science
- Biological Sciences and Society
- Biological Sciences for Environment
- Values Imbibed through Biological Science
1. Meaning and Definition of Biological Sciences:
Biological Sciences is the study of life and living organisms. It is also called as “Biology”. The Greek word ‘bio’ means life and ‘logos’ means study of. In the late 1700s Pierre-Antoine de Monet and Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck coined the term biology.
Earlier study of living things was restricted to the pure Science like Botany and Zoology that together comprise the Biology. But as the time passed new branches evolved, new technologies developed in pure subjects as well as in applied fields, which gave rise to a very broad science called Biological Sciences.
Biological Sciences is an extensive study covering the minute workings of chemical substances inside living cells, to the broad scale concepts of ecosystems and global environmental changes. It is also concerned with the physical characteristics and behaviors of organisms living today and long ago, how they came into existence, and what relation they possess with each other and their environments. Intimate study of details of the human brain, the composition of our genes, and even the functioning of our reproductive system are dealt in Biological science. Today it is also called by new name- Life sciences.
The life sciences can be defined as “a systematic study of living beings or study of nature”. Teaching of life Science basically deals with providing information about the latest developments in the field of Biological sciences all over the world.
The knowledge of Biological Sciences helps the student:
1. To develop the individual’s sensitiveness to nature and make him feels at home with it.
2. To understand all living beings on the earth emerged from one being to another which inculcates ‘oneness’ of all living beings.
3. Develops scientific outlook.
4. Develops respect towards nature to protect it.
5. Removes ‘dogmatic approach’.
6. To explain the living world in terms of scientific principles and appreciating all organisms which behave indifferent ways.
7. Show capabilities, which differ from one another.
8. Satisfy the curiosity of the students.
9. Generate interest about his surroundings.
Man is curious by his nature. This curiosity has driven them to explore the world around them. Over the time, manipulating and controlling nature for the benefit of the mankind has become an object of exploration. Initially the pace of exploration was slow, but with the result of industrial revolution in the west, the pace of exploration has increased manifold. Exploration became a tool for not only modifying and controlling the nature but also for preserving the natural resources.
Over the course of human history, people have developed interconnected and validated ideas about the physical, biological, phychological and social worlds. Those ideas have enabled successive generations to achieve an increasingly comprehensive and reliable understanding of human species and environment. Human exploratory activities have resulted in the accumulations of a vast source of knowledge called ‘natural science’.
In natural science, we study about nature which means the entire Universe. For the convenience of the study the knowledge is organized in several disciplines. This knowledge is the outcome of inquiry, observation, logical reasoning testable by experimentation or facts. We call science as domain of inquiry.
2. History of Biological Sciences:
Human knowledge of biology began with prehistoric man and his experiences with plants and animals and also through the instincts and efforts to explore the nature. The information was verbally passed on from one generation to another. The history of science therefore can be said to have begun with the history of human existence.
During early period, people knew about medicinal and poisonous plants and knew that a heartbeat meant that someone or some animal was alive. They also had the idea that the conception of babies is in some way connected with sexual reproduction.
Records of advances made in the field of medicine as well as some other branches were biological sciences during the early civilization are available.
Some of the important historic contributions in the field of biology are mentioned below:
In the ancient Hebrew creation account as recorded in the book of Genesis (genesis = origin, birth), the Creator gives the Earth the ability to produce plants and animals. In Genesis 1: 11, the Creator says, “Let the land produce vegetation.” Verse 12 says, “The land produced vegetation.” Genesis 1:24 adds, “Let the land produce living creatures.” These verses stand in sharp contrast to earlier verses which say, “. . . Let there be . . . and it was.” In Genesis 1:28, humans are given the responsibility of taking good care of the creation.
Anaximander, a Greek philosopher who lived from 611 to 546 BC, is credited with the first written work on natural science; a classical poem entitled On Nature. In this poem, he presented what may be the first written theory of evolution he said that in the beginning there was a fish-like creature with scales etc. that arose in and lived in the world ocean. As some of these advanced, they moved onto land, shed their scaly coverings, and became the first humans.
In 570 BC, Xenophanes was one of the first people to write about his observations on fossils. He thought that fossils were an indication that there was water/mud previously in an area.
Hippocrates lived from about 400 to 300 BC. One of the things for which he is remembered is his theory that the human body was composed of the four elements (earth, air, fire, water) plus four fluids or humors- sanguis or blood, produced by the heart; choler or yellow bile, produced by the liver; melancholia or black bile, produced by the spleen; and phlegma or phlegm, produced by the brain, which corresponded with these.
Aristotle, one of Plato’s most famous pupils, lived from 343 to 322 BC, and contributed much to what we now consider to be in the realm of biology. His refinement of the systems of animal and plant classification has profoundly influenced the course of biological thought ever since.
His classification system included what he called the Scala naturae, the “scale of nature.” He said that all organisms are arranged in a hierarchy from simplest to most complex, like rungs on a ladder with no vacancies, no mobility, and no change possible since all the spots were full.
By the late 1600s, observations were being made with the first, primitive microscopes. In 1665, Robert Hooke was the first person to see and name cells. He examined (dead) cork bark with a primitive microscope and saw little cubicles which he called cells.
Anton van Leeuwenhoek was the first person to observe sperm cells with his very primitive microscope. He thought he saw tiny body parts in the sperm. He used this as “proof” of the idea that the homunculus was in the sperm and the mother’s body just served as a place for the planted seed to grow. Additionally, Leeuwenhoek proposed that fertilization occurs when the sperm enters the egg, but this could not actually be observed for another 100 years.
In the field of botany, there were considerable efforts in the past. Classification of organisms in India comes from Vedas and Upanishads (1500 B.C to 600 B.C). In these books many technical terms were used to describe plants and their parts both morphologically as well as anatomically.
Rotation of crops was practiced and medicinal plants were also collected and studied. Two eminent ancient Indian scholars and Ayurvedic physicians named Charaka and Susruta contributed to our knowledge of diversity and utility of plants. The ancient Indian scholars compiled ‘Vrikshayurveda’ before the beginning of Christian era and this deals with the scientific study of plants and animal life.
Two great Greek philosophers, Hippocrates (460-377 B.C) and Aristotle (384-322 B.C) studied and classified various living organisms, but their classifications were not based on scientific method and reasoning. Theophrastus (370-285 B .C), a disciple of Aristotle classified the plants on the basis of form and texture and is known as the ‘father of botany’. His book ‘Historia Plantarum’ deals with 480 plants.
With the decline of the Greek and Roman civilization, there was no significant botanical advancement for more than fourteen centuries. However, there was again awakening of botanical learning in the sixteenth century when several herbals, especially those of Brunfels (1530), Bock (1539), Fuchs (1542), Turner (1551), Cordus (1561), Lobelius (1581) and Gerar (1597) were published.
Otto Brunfels was one of the first among the group of renowned herbalists, who described and illustrated the plants known to that period. They were more interested in the purported medical values and domestic uses of plants. Brunfels produced one of the first illustrated herbals and recognized the perfect and imperfect groups of plants characterized by the presence and absence of flowers respectively. The herbalists as a group are important for their contribution to the descriptive phases of systematic botany.
In the 17th century two European scientists John Ray (1627-1706) and Francis Willougby (1635-1672) collected many plants and animals and classified them. Ray described 18,000 plants and published between 1686 and 1704 a book ‘Historia Generalis Plantarum’ in three volumes.
Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), a Swedish naturalist, who is also called ‘father of taxonomy’, classified the organisms according to his own system of classification, which is called binomial system of nomenclature. This system is based on the principle of naming organisms by two words: genus and species. According to him existing species of plants and animals were the descendants of the previously created species. His ‘Systema Naturae’ appeared in 1735.
His ‘Genera plantarum’ and ‘Classes plantarum’ appeared in 1737 and 1738 respectively. Linnaeus ‘Philosophia botanica’ appeared in 1751, which was a revised version of his system, published in ‘classes plantarum’. His ‘Species Plantarum’ was published in 1757, a work in which 1700 species were described and arranged on the basis of sexual system of classification. His system is considered as an artificial system.
In either 1809, Jean Baptiste Lamarck published his ‘theory of evolution’. His main points were:
(a) Evolution or change within a species is driven by an innate, inner striving toward greater perfection,
(b) Use or disuse of various organs made them larger or smaller, accordingly, and
(c) These acquired traits could be inherited or passed on to offspring (inheritance of acquired traits).
In 1828, Karl von Baer published the developmental stages in mammalian eggs. He was able to show that an undifferentiated, single-celled egg grows into a many-celled embryo in which all the cells have different functions. This disproved the preformation theory (which said that the preformed homunculus just gets bigger).
In 1859, Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, more commonly known as The Origin of Species.
In this landmark book, he made four main points:
(a) Individuals, even siblings, in a population vary (there is variation),
(b) These variations can be passed on to offspring (are inherited— remember- he, too, thought this happened via pangenes),
(c) More offspring are produced than the environment can support, so there is competition for resources, and
(d) Those individuals whose characteristics make them best suited to the environment live and reproduce and have more offspring (survival of the fittest).
Thus in any population, there is descent with modification (changes occur over the generations) due to natural selection the “pressure” the environment puts on the various genetic varieties in terms of their ability to cope and/or survive.
In 1745-1748, John Needham, a Scottish clergyman and naturalist showed that microorganisms flourished in various soups that had been exposed to the air. He claimed that there was a “life force” present in the molecules of all inorganic matter, including air and the oxygen in it that could cause spontaneous generation to occur, thus accounting for the presence of bacteria in his soups.
In 1865, Gregor Mendel, an Austrian monk, published a paper on genetics that earned him the nickname “the Father of Modern Genetics.” One of Mendel’s jobs at the monastery was to care for the garden. As he went about his chores, he noticed that some of his pea plants were tall while others were short, some had purple flowers while others had white, some had yellow seeds while others had green, and some had wrinkled seeds while others had smooth seeds.
As Mendel raised peas, he made specific crosses between certain plants and did something very unusual for biology in those days- he counted the results. From this he developed a theory of genetics that refuted the pangene/homunculus idea and enabled people to predict the outcome of a genetic cross if the genes of the parents were known.
When Mendel first published his paper, the idea of the pangenes was still so deeply held that people ignored his work or dismissed it as false. It wasn’t until 1900 that a couple of botanists working on other research rediscovered his work. We will discuss Mendel’s theory in more depth when we talk about genetics.
In 1870 the process of mitosis, regular cell division by which one cell divides to make two cells, was observed, and researchers noticed that chromosomes, whose function was not understood, were moving around in the cell during mitosis so that each daughter cell got an exact set of them.
In 1890 the process of meiosis, a special cell division involved in producing eggs or sperm, was observed. Again, researchers did not yet understand what chromosomes were, but they did note that as a result of meiosis, each egg or sperm cell formed had half as many chromosomes as the original cell.
Thus, after Mendel’s work was rediscovered in 1900, researchers started seeing parallels between his theory of genetics and what the chromosomes were doing in mitosis and meiosis. From this, people figured out that Mendel’s genes were on the chromosomes.
In the 1940s, people finally started fitting the two together. People began to think that the DNA in the chromosomes was the genetic material, but because its chemical structure was unknown, a lot of biologists were skeptical about this idea.
In 1953, James Watson, an American, and Francis Crick, an Englishman, published a paper in which they proposed a hypothetical structure for DNA, which also showed how DNA could be the genetic code material and suggested a means whereby it could replicate itself. Subsequent chemical analyses of DNA have upheld their prediction.
Until about 100-150 years ago, science/biology and “religion” were intervened in human thought and culture. Since Darwin’s time, in Western culture, science and religion had pretty much gone their own ways at a time when new discoveries were constantly being made in science.
In the last 40 years since the publication of Watson and Crick’s paper on DNA, our biological knowledge has increased exponentially, especially in the field of genetics, and now we’re realizing there’s no ethical framework on which to hang it. There are all sorts of fantastic, and perhaps life-saving, things that we are capable of doing which also give us the ability to annihilate whole segments of the human population and/or whole species of organisms.
Developments in the Field of Medicine:
Medical science has made enormous strides during the last 150 years.
1. Rene Laennec is world renowned for his invention of the stethoscope.
2. With the aid of the microscope, Robert Koch discovered the germs, which caused cholera and tuberculosis.
3. Emil Von Behring enabled the protection of children from diphtheria by introducing vaccination.
4. Walter Reed, an American doctor, found that mosquitoes spread yellow fever.
5. Sir James Young Simpson discovered the anesthetic properties of chloroform.
6. Sir Joseph Lister, a world-renowned English surgeon of Glasgow University, is considered to be the father of antiseptic surgery.
7. Sir Alexander Fleming demonstrated that Penicillin is a miracle drug in treating diseases like pneumonia, syphilis, peritonis, tetanus and other illnesses.
8. The first successful heart transplant was performed by Dr. Christian Barnard.
3. Objectives of Biological Science:
Learning objectives guide you to take the required actions to bring those changes and help you to make your learning meaningful. Learning objectives help you to find the answers for the questions like, how will you focus the attention of your students on the expected learning activities?
The type of teaching learning strategies to be planned? The ways and means by which the student constructs and reconstructs the knowledge? How can you help yourself and the learner in self-assessment? And facilitate to perform and plan out work systematically.
The aims of education, which can be achieved in a school, are called as objectives. An objective is a part of an aim. It indicates an end point of possible achievement. Objectives are immediate attainable goals. They vary from subject to subject and they are specific, precise and clearly defined and become meaningful to the students and teachers in a teaching-learning situation.
Objectives make a teaching programme meaningful. They indicate the behavioral changes in the pupil after completion of instruction. It is the expected terminal behavior or a learning outcome of the pupil at the end of teaching-learning process.
1. Good, C.V. (1959):
Defines, objective as “an end towards which a school sponsored activity is directed”.
2. Mohan, R. (2002):
Defines “an objective as a point or an end view of the possible achievement in terms of what a student is able to do when the whole educational system is directed towards educational aims”.
The terms aims and objectives are usually taken as synonymous terms in education. Aims need long term planning. Objectives are a means of achieving these aims and in a definite way. The aims of teaching science can be broken down into smaller objectives, which may be helpful in providing the learning experiences and bringing desirable Changes in the individuals.
Democracy is our aim to be achieved in the country. Involving all people in a judgment becomes an objective. So inculcate such a value of democracy in a school the students should be given an opportunity of freedom of expression in the educational process to achieve the objective.
The objectives of the science teaching are formulated on philosophical, sociological and psychological bases.
The main considerations for formulating them:
(i) The Capabilities of the Learners- The needs and the abilities of the learners are important when we frame the objectives. The psychological and physical principles need to be taken into consideration.
(ii) The Requirements of the Society- The influence of science and technology on the society and its improvement may be considered.
(iii) The Nature of the Content- The content and the subject matter should not too complex and abstract. It should be able to develop the expected values in the learner.
(iv) The Aims of the Educational System- The objectives should be able to achieve the aims of education.
(v) Constraints in Implementation- The objectives should not be difficult in implementation. They could be achieved in a classroom.
The objectives thus formulated should be appropriate for the age and ability of the learners, they should incorporate the practical experiences and they should suit the modern needs.
1. Specific- A good objective should not be vague. It should be specific and directed towards an activity.
2. Unambiguous- A good objective should not be ambiguous, it should be clear in specifying the required outcomes.
3. Appropriate- The objectives should provide appropriate learning in tune with the age and maturity of the learner.
4. Practicable- The objectives should provide practical experiences in learning.
5. Feasibility- Objectives should be practically possible to be achieved in the classroom.
1. Providing Practical knowledge of the content.
2. Providing Advanced information.
3. Developing skills, remembering, understanding, interests, and appreciation, application and analysis through the teaching of life science.
4. Stimulating the spirit of investigation and invention.
5. Improving the power of observation and experimentation.
6. Developing the problem solving capacities.
7. Understand the utility of biological science to the modem life.
8. Inculcating the ideals like truthfulness, open-mindedness and reflective thinking in the learner.
Is Learning Objectives External?
It is the responsibility of the teacher to provide learning experiences and opportunities to each learner. So, that they learn to the best of their ability and become potential learners. Identifying certain noticeable changes in terms of remembering, understanding, applying and analyzing etc., need to be brought out in the learner before transacting a particular unit/topic in the class.
These desired objectives of remembering, understanding, applying and analysis for a particular topic/unit in terms of perceived learning are broadly known as ‘learning objectives’. This desirability should be viewed from the perspectives of the existing knowledge and background of the learner not of the teachers.
In other words learning objectives are the statements in specific and observable term that tell what the learner is expected to achieve as a result of engaging them in teaching-learning process. For example, write two characteristics that distinguish between unicellular and multi cellular organisms.
The aims of learning biological science like knowledge, understanding of science, nurturance of process skills, development of scientific attitude, scientific temper, nurturance of curiosity, creativity and aesthetic sense, imbibing values, developing problem solving and relating biological science education with nature, social environment, technology and society are common at all educational processes. It is also emphasized that achieving aims of biological science should be a continuous effort of a teacher.
Learning objectives of biological sciences should be consistent with the aims of biological sciences as well as cognitive abilities of the learner. While developing the learning objectives the nature of science, in general and the topic in particular, the scope of the content to be transacted, to the learner, the context in which learning is taking place, and needs, abilities and learning difficulties of the learner are to be kept in mind.
Understanding how to develop learning objectives will help us to structure the teaching and learning and assessment processes and optimize learning. The learning objectives should be aligned with three major components of teaching learning process- the objectives, teaching learning activities and assessment. Whether the objectives are realized or not is known by assessment of learners.
Accordingly teaching learning activities are modified to realize the objectives. Thus, the three components are objectives framed in accordance with the academic standards, based on these the teaching learning activities are designed and assessment will be helpful to know whether the academic standards are realized or not. Thus, three components are consistent with each other. If the three components are congruent, teaching learning is meaningful.
A well written learning objective can be easily understood by the learner as well as teachers. Learner can fore see what is expected from them as a result of a teaching learning process and can negotiate with the teach regarding it. The following are certain focal points to be kept in mind while writing the learning objectives.
The learning objectives should be learner centred be explicit and understandable facilitate in getting of learning evidences be observable by observing performance of the learners.
Learning objectives should reflect what the learners will do rather than what the teacher will do.
Now examine the learning objectives given as teacher centred and learner centred:
The teacher centred objectives are observable, can provide learning evidences and can be recognized.
In order to make the learning objectives clear an understandable, the conditions under which learning would take place and the criteria for achieving them should also be mentioned. For example-
1. Given the flow diagram of a food chain, identify the interdependence between biotic and abiotic components.
2. With the use of three bobs of different diameters and three strings of different lengths and identify the factors that affect the time period of a pendulum.
3. After making a model of wind mill describe its working in two paragraphs in your own words.
The more explicit an objective is, the more explicit is the learning evidences, which would be likely to be achieved within limited time. By mentioning the conditions and criteria in a learning objectives gives explicit visualization for designing learning experiences. Learning objectives can be changed or modified depending upon the needs of the learners.
Learning objectives written for a unit should be comprehensive enough to include remembering, understanding, application and skills of science processes as well as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication and research in the context of biological science.
It should provide opportunities for learning experiences with concrete materials through activities, experiments and projects carrying out investigation and validation of knowledge for the formation of the concepts in biological science. Therefore, a deep understanding of the contents of biological science is one of the most important requirements for writing learning objectives.
4. Biological Sciences and Society:
The needs of the society have always played a very important role in the development of science. One might still wonder why societies and nations pay those individuals to do science. Why does a society devote some of its resources for developing new knowledge about the nature, or what has motivated the scientists to devote their lives to develop this new knowledge?
One realm of answer lies in the desire to improve people’s lives. Another realm of answer lies in a society’s desires for economic development. Another whole realm of answer lies in humanity’s increasing control over our planet and its environment.
Societies have changed over a time and consequently science evolved. For instance, the emergence of philosophy and science in Greece came around 450 BC. Plato’s work was based on the highest human faculty-reasoning, did not believed in working with hand which arrested the progress of the experimental science.
However his students Aristotle laid down the base for scientific approach. He used two types of arguments i.e. dialectical, based on logical deduction and empirical based on practical observation. Based on these two arguments he developed a school of organized scientific inquiry. He single handedly developed science as a collective organized enterprise, where all accepted this work, including individuals, societies, political and religious systems of that period.
We see that science and society influence each other. Educational aims are framed in accordance with our socio-economic and socio-cultural needs.
Some of the aims of teaching-learning science are:
(i) To develop scientific temper, attitude and outlook.
(ii) To develop open-mindedness, objectivity, honesty, national integration, international understanding concern for environment and democratic, socialistic and secularistic values.
(iii) To respect others view and opinion, to develop gender equity.
(iv) To promote research in the field of science and technology.
Science is practiced by people who are often sensitive to the needs and interests of the world around them.
Vaccines for example are developed by scientists who are sensitive to the current needs of the society.
Society supports science because of simple curiosity and because of the satisfaction that comes from knowledge of the world around us. However, the awe, perspective, and perhaps even serenity derived from that knowledge is very valuable to many of us.
The sense of interconnectedness that comes from such knowledge enriches our understanding of our world, and of our lives, in a very valuable way. It’s no wonder that most modern societies support scientific research for the improvement of our understanding of the world around us.
5. Biological Sciences for Environment:
Environment may be defined as everything present in the universe, which includes air, water, soil, plants, animals, rivers, mountains, the sun, the moon and space.
Environment covers the four segments i.e. atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere. Due to the increased activities of man (pollution) and surplus exploitation of natural resources there is a danger of ecological imbalance and destruction of the environment. In such a situation the only rescue for the survival could come from the intervention of science.
A new branch of chemistry, namely ‘green chemistry’ has developed to prevent environmental degradation. Green chemistry is about utilising existing knowledge and principles of chemistry and other sciences to reduce the adverse impact of human activities on the environment.
The study of the effect of contaminants (physical, chemical, biological) on the environment has also become part of science. Scientists started working on the prevention of pollution of water, air, soil, noise, and that caused by radioactivity. For example, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as a fuel is preferred to petroleum and diesel to reduce the level of CO2 in air.
Also alternative sources of energy like wind, solar, nuclear, biogas, tides and geothermal etc., have been explored and their use is growing. These measures will surely decrease pollution and the global warming. Thus, science is essential for study of environment and its improvement.
Unscientific life styles have resulted in greater amount of waste material generation. Change in attitude also has a role to play, with more and more things we use, becoming disposable. Change in packing has resulted in much of our waste becoming non-biodegradable.
Disposable Cups in Trains:
There were at times when tea in train was served in pots and ceramic cups. The introduction of disposable cups was hailed as a step forward for reasons of hygiene. No one perhaps thought about its impact caused by disposal of millions of these cups on a daily basis.
Some time back, kulhads i.e. disposable cups made of clay were suggested as an alternative and practiced in few states. Making these kulhads on a large scale would result in the loss of the fertile top soil. Now disposable paper cups are been used. Scientific understanding leads to protection of environment in which we survive.
Biological Sciences for Health:
The progress of any society takes place only when its members are healthy. Science has served the humanity to a greater extent to make its members healthy and free from diseases. Science made innumerable contributions in the field of medicine for improving our health.
It provided medicines for almost all the known major and minor diseases and helped in inventing different operational implements for the surgeons to operate on the patients. Awareness about personal hygiene and sanitation is possible due to the knowledge of science.
The outcomes of medical research and development like lasers, mechanical cardiac assist devices, mechanical valves, automatic internal defibrillators have saved many lives. Science and technology will expand the current frontier of medical knowledge. Armed with this new knowledge, we may identify the causes and eliminate most of the effects of the diseases that plague mankind.
In ancient times, Indian society was quite alert to the physical and mental health of its members. Indian medical tradition dates back to Vedic times. Ayurveda perhaps the most ancient medical system, orginated in India by Charak who lived in 2nd or 3rd century BCE, is considered as the king of physicians in India.
He was acquainted with all branches of medicine, including surgery and psychotherapy. His works are compiled in ‘Charak Samhita’. In this volume 100,000 plants along with their medicinal properties were included. He stressed importance of diet and physical activity on the mind and body Unani is also practiced from ancient times.
Magnetism in Medicine:
An electric current always produces a magnetic field. Even the weak ion, current that travel along the nerve cells in our body also produces magnetic fields. When we touch some things, our nerves carry an electric impulse to the muscles we need to use. This impulse produces a temporary magnetic field.
Two main organs in the human body where the magnetic field produced is significant are the heart and the brain. The magnetic field inside the body forms the basis of obtaining the images of different body parts. This is done using a technique called Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Analysis of these images helps in medical diagnosis. Magnetism has, thus, got important uses in medicine.
Biological Sciences for Peace:
The scientific knowledge should always strive for promoting peace and harmony in the society. One of the indicators of peace is absence of violence. Students should be encouraged to appreciate and use the scientific and technological knowledge for the betterment of the society. Students should be made aware of various scientific issues in global and economic contexts so that they can form wider perspectives of justice, peace and non-violence.
However, scientific knowledge and its developmental enterprises must be used for the welfare of human kind which in turn brings peace in the society.
Biological Sciences for Equity – Gender and Science, Science for Inclusion:
Science learning should empower the students to fight against the prejudices related to gender, caste, religion and region. Equity in education helps to ensure that all students experience the highest levels of academic achievement possible, economic self-sufficient and social mobility.
Taking the example of properties of elements, where, though all elements have different identities, but have some common characteristics based on it are placed in different groups in the periodic table. Thus diversity should be valued in school and each individual should be respected.
Researches showed that both boys and girls performed well in science learning. Parents should be motivated to encourage their girl children to opt for science. Teachers, teacher educators, educational planners, textbook writers and educational administrators must be made sensitive to gender related issues. Scientific differences of domestic work like chemistry in kitchen, problems, exercises and realities of women’s life should be included in the science curriculum.
Science teacher should develop in all students including those with special educational needs the ability to analyze the options available and to facilitate the possibility of making informed decisions. E.g. Availability of books written in Braille to visually challenged students.
The science teacher should make use of various ICT and web tools to bridge the social divide and equalize the opportunity. Science teacher should use inclusive language which is simple and using the words both from urban and rural areas.
6. Values Imbibed through Biological Science:
There is an increasing demand for science education in the society as we are living in an era of science and technology. Science education is very important for the individual benefits and for the development of the society on the whole. Science is also very important in our day-to-day lives.
Science education not only develops knowledge and competence in the subject but also helps in developing values of life. Knowledge of science prepares the individual to face the challenges of the ever-changing modern world. We can inculcate a number of values in the students through Biological Sciences education.
The most important values among them are:
Biological Sciences develops our thinking and reasoning skills. It gratifies our intellectual instincts and makes us aware of our surroundings and ourselves. It increases our understanding of the complex issues existing around us. The primary aim of science education is the development of intellectual ability. Biological Sciences education inculcates the knowledge of facts, the spirit of enquiry, the technique of assumption, the power of observation, and value judgment in the students.
It helps in developing logical thinking, reasoning, analysis, and creativity in the students. It develops the scientific attitudes and provides training in scientific methodology. It develops rational thinking in an individual and prepares him to face the challenges of the modern world with a scientific outlook.
It sharpens our minds and makes us intellectually honest and critical in our observation and reasoning. We usually tend to arrive at conclusions without any bias in the light of science. Some of the important scientific attitudes, which are appreciated with science knowledge, are open-mindedness, curiosity, systematic thinking and reflective thinking.
Biological Science helps in understanding and solving many problems like social, economic, political or cultural. A tree does not have any partiality towards a particular person belonging to a caste, community, region, religion, nation etc. The same intellectual values develop among child and human beings at large.
Biological Sciences has a number of applications in our everyday life. Development of Biological Sciences can be related with the development of human race. The advances in the fields of medicine, improvement in the health and hygiene thereby improving the lifespan of human beings, are due to the enormous developments in scientific knowledge.
Science has influenced the lives of people so much that today we cannot imagine our lives without the involvement of science. Biological Sciences has a major impact in the field of medicines and health, preventing and curing number of diseases. The increased production of food for the ever- increasing population of the world is also the gift of Biological Sciences for the survival of man.
Biological Sciences is a multi-disciplinary subject and creates a lot of awareness about many aspects of modern development. As a subject it has helped in generating a number of vocations. It has many applications and the students fit better into any vocation as they have a basic knowledge of science.
Advancement and applications of biological Sciences led to Dairy, Poultry, Agriculture, Veterinary, Microbiological, Bio-chemical, Biotechnological and Paramedical fields. Biological Sciences graduates may enter teaching, or enter industries related to Bio-products. The knowledge of science develops a number of skills like reasoning, analysis; critical thinking.
It helps individuals to become technically competent and professional in their attitudes. It helps them to become self-sufficient. Scientific hobbies motivate the students to become creative in their outlook. In every vocation scientific is required and hence basic science education is a must for every student.
Biological Science as a process and product based on values of truth, beauty and goodness. Scientific experimentation is based on truthfulness and honesty. We can say that science is truth. Success in science is purely dependent on the truthfulness. A student working on scientific procedures should inculcate the values like patience, perseverance, truthfulness, honesty and determination. He should be rational in outlook and should accept critical feedback from others.
A person who is pursuing science is considered as a seeker of truth. No success is achieved without being truthful. Thus, science not only develops scientific thinking skills but also develops moral values in students. Plant kingdom protects human beings. Many animals live together. Protecting the other living, togetherness values can be imbibed through Biological Sciences.
Nature is beautiful. Ours is a beautiful universe with many unfolding mysteries in it. As a part of this beautiful universe we should be able to appreciate our mother nature. Aesthetic sense has its origin in nature. Biological Science helps us in unfolding the mysteries of this universe. A Science student appreciates the nature in a better way. Nature exhibits an order, which is governed by general laws and thus possesses a beautiful harmony.
Einstein called it as “the pre-established harmony” We all know that the discovering of such beautiful harmonies is the concern of science. A tree waves, A bird flies in blue sky, Sun rising and setting is beautiful. Thus, Biological Sciences recognize the beauty of nature, appreciate the nature and make our lives worth living.
Biological Sciences plays an important role in the civilization of man. From ancient civilization to the present modern world science has become part and parcel of our everyday life. Science has a great impact on the culture of man in any society. Its application to the material and maintenance system brought a drastic evolution in the culture.
The study of science inculcates scientific attitudes and methodology in the individuals. This affects the way of thinking and the way of living of the individuals. Science has aided the growth of our consciousness by developing awareness about the various facts, concepts, beliefs, customs and traditions of the world.
This has heightened our intellectual abilities and helped in refining, understanding and discriminating the facts of life. Science develops cultural value as it forms an integral part of one’s life and influences our social heritage. The knowledge of science has a major influence in bringing about a renaissance in our culture and traditions.
The scientific knowledge helps in bringing about a cultural balance between the traditions of the past and the advances of the present, as they are undergoing constant change due to the practical applications of the scientific discoveries. The development of our society or civilization or culture is wholly dependent on scientific progress. Thus, science is an integral part of our cultural treasure. Biological products are useful in protecting our cultural treasures.
7. Creative Value:
The Instinct of science is creativity. Creativity is defined as an activity resulting in new products of a definite social value. It is the ability to think, create or do something new or original. It includes a series of actions, which create new ideas, thoughts and physical objects.
We can say that science is also a product with social value, which is due to creative thinking of many scientists over a period of time. Science develops creativity in students. Students learn new concepts, identify new techniques and perform innovative experiments.
They observe the processes, conduct experiments successfully and even develop alternative methods of study. These develop the creativity in the learners. All products useful to man are creation, of science e.g. a hybrid seed. Building a hut and ship, equipment and gadgets for differently abled children.
Science brings mental and physical discipline in the life of the individual. Problem solving, decision-making, critical thinking, perseverance and commitment to tasks are some of the mental disciplines, which a student develops by the study of science.
The study of science teaches the student to undertake physical work like practical experimentation for long hours in the laboratory, collect the data, record, analyze and interpret the data and arrive at conclusions. All these activities result in development of self-discipline in the students.
9. Development of Scientific Attitudes:
The knowledge of science results in the development of attitudes like critical observation, open-mindedness, unbiased thinking and judgment. It frees individuals from the superstitious beliefs and improves their rational thinking. Science brings a positive change in the attitudes of individuals, which improve the life of the individual and help in satisfying the basic instincts of curiosity, creativeness, self-assertion, self-expression etc.
The development of scientific attitude has a great impact on an individual’s psychology i.e., the way of thinking. Scientific attitudes develop based on scientific laws, principles and theories. Law of conservation of mass says no matter can be created. Hence, nature is existing by itself, this is the attitude one develops from science. So on and so forth.
10. Training in Scientific Method:
The study of science trains the students to solve the problems by applying the scientific principles. They approach the problem using a definite scientific procedure called scientific method. Explanation or problem-solving scientifically is called as scientific methodology.
With the help of scientific method, one can easily solve any problem comfortably. Therefore, it is a necessary that the students are taught and trained in these scientific methods so that they can attack the problem instead of escaping from it.
The students make a survey of the problem, collect the data, formulate the hypothesis, analyze the result, draw the conclusions and give the generalizations. Once the student is familiar with all the scientific methods, they can solve any type of problem even in their real life. Taxonomy states that every plant is unique, in spite of its similarities with other plants.
It is very important for the students’ to utilize their leisure time in a proper manner. The knowledge of Biology should create interest and motivate the students to use their leisure in an appropriate manner. The leisure time should be used to take up small time projects, or hobbies like collection of specimens of plants or insects and preserving them.
The teacher may take the students to plant nurseries or poultry or dairy farms to develop the knowledge about the growth and development of plants and animals. The students may be asked to write articles for the newspapers or school magazines. They may also take up science club activities or take part in science fairs and make the best use of their leisure for enhancing their knowledge of biology.
12. Value of Science as a Basis for Better Living:
The explosion of scientific knowledge has lead to much advancement in the field of science and technology. This made the human beings to lead a more peaceful, healthy and happy life. The developments in the field of medicine, health, industry, food and nutrition, environment and sanitation and also electronics and communication have revolutionized the world. They made this world a happier and pleasurable place to live.
The Delor’s Commission (1996) of UNESCO in its report entitled ‘Learning- the treasure within’, advocates the need to cultivate core universal values like human rights, sense of social responsibility, social equity, democratic participation, tolerance, cooperative spirit, creativity, environmental sensitivity, peace, love, truth, non-violence etc. within the learner.
Education for human values is an important area that needs to be promoted at all stages of education. Science offers many opportunities for value inculcation. For example while teaching the concepts such as the states of matter you can discuss the values of coordination, unity and staying together based on the bonding and forces of attraction between the molecules. How freedom of molecules is a gas given different shapes to it. Hence, Freedom delivers creativeness.
While teaching the properties of a magnet we can discuss the sociable, acceptable nature of the child in whatever group they may be present like the attraction of iron fillings to the magnet.
The following values can be developed through teaching-learning of science:
1. Patience – While conducting the experiment we wait for the end result.
2. Perseverance – Repeating the experiments until the expected result is got.
3. Cooperation – Sharing the equipment, material and distribution of work.
4. Honesty – In collecting, compiling and analyzing the data.
5. Integrity – Whose work can be relied upon?
6. Concern for life – Caring for the welfare and hygiene of the mankind.
7. Preservation of environment – Cleanliness of the surroundings, cares for plants and animals, adequate use of water and electricity.
The values through science teaching can be inculcated by the following strategies:
1. Conducting activities and experiments- Scientific activities allow one to observe, verify and inquire.
2. Drawing analogies of concepts- Identifying the value in each and every concept taught. For example, cooperation with each other develops a strong relationship like the covalent bond is formed by sharing of electors.
3. Narrating the biography of great scientists- The narration of biographies of great scientists inspires to imbibe scientific value among the students.
E.g. Madam Marie Curie, the first person and only woman to win twice the Nobel prize, and was a part of the Curie family legacy of ‘five Nobel prizes’.
4. Teaching-learning the content of science- The human values hidden in science concepts are to be identified and practiced by the students.
5. Working as role models- Teacher should be a role model and create a congenial environment with scientific, democratic, social and moral values.