"Critical thinking is the essential foundation for adaptation to the everyday personal, social and professional demands of the 21st century and thereafter. The most inescapable imperative of the future is continuous change, change that involves complex adjustments to the increasingly complex systems that dominate our lives. Therefore, the distinguishing characteristics of those who will not only survive but thrive in the future, will be abilities and traits, both intellectual and emotional, that entail excellence in evaluating and responding to the conditions of change."
- Richard Paul
The discovery of the structure of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecule and how it functions in organisms have found application in a growing industry called biotechnology. The new products of biotechnology are generally made by transferring genes from one organism to another. The resulting organism is known as a Genetically Modified Organism or GMO. The production and use of GMOs may be the solution to a rapidly increasing population. However, GMOs may pose potential risks. Concerns have been raised about allergic reaction resulting from consuming genetically modified food.
The amount of knowledge on the science of genetics is rapidly increasing. Mankind has a powerful tool in its hands and with this power comes the responsibility of deciding wisely. By understanding and evaluating accurate information can we only make informed decisions concerning its uses.
This unit is designed with the central goal of improving students' understanding of genetically modified food (GMF), both their science content knowledge and their understanding of the issues related to it and, of making wise decisions concerning its uses. A variety of learning activities will be employed to help students locate appropriate information and resources concerning GMF and to critically evaluate the evidence they find. Ultimately, the students, as wise and informed consumers, will decide for themselves whether GMF are beneficial or harmful.
Things that need to be done prior to the implementation of the Unit Plan in class:
For things that need to be done during the Unit, please refer to the implementation plan(doc).
Meeting 1: Introducing the Unit
Venue: Computer Laboratory or a classroom with teacher computer and a multimedia projector
Meeting 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: Working on the Project
Venue: Computer Laboratory, Community
Meeting 7, 8: Presentation of Group Outputs
Venue: Computer Laboratory or a classroom with one computer and a multimedia projector
After Unit implementation, the things that need to be done are the following:
Students should be proficient in:
Note: If your lab does not have enough computers, you may want to consider alternatives to larger group size. Divide the class into two. One-half of the class works on the computers and the other half works on an offline activity, then they switch.
Student performance will be assessed based on how they process information, how they support their point of view, how they effectively communicate their ideas, and how they collaborate with their peers.
Project outputs of the groups will be assessed using the following rubrics developed by the teacher:
These rubrics will be presented to students on the first day of the unit to guide students on what they should focus on their presentations and brochures. Other groups also give rating to the outputs of their peers. This is 20 percent of the group rating.
Key Word Search
Maria Helen Catalan, a staff of UP NISMED who participated in the Intel® Teach to the Future Training last March 2003, developed this Unit Plan. After the training, Ms. Catalan had it content-reviewed and revised her training outputs based on the revisions suggested by the content reviewer. In 2007, additional enhancements were made by the Intel® Teach National Team from UP NISMED. This is the most recent enhanced version of Ms. Catalan’s Unit Plan.