Date of Award

January 1937

Degree Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

Problem. This study is undertaken for the purpose of ascertaining the present status of biology in a selected number of schools as may be revealed by (a) textbook content, (b) teaching methods, (c) laboratory, and (d) library facilities provided, and (e) the qualifications of the biology teachers. Procedure. Visits were made to the twenty schools involved in the study. Of the forty accredited senior high schools for Negroes in Georgia, twenty were chosen for this study. It was discovered later, however, that two of these schools do not offer an organized course in biology. Mention of this fact, of course, is primarily to indicate the scope of the present sampling. The schools selected are classified by the State Department of Education as follows:Group I has better facilities, and at least three fourths of the teachers hold degrees. Group two represents those schools that are not so good as those in group one, but offer sixteen units. A check list was formulated, after making a survey of the literature, from which suggestions as to certain items deserving to be noted were obtained. Visits were made to these twenty schools. No data were secured from the schools not offering biology as an organized course. Data from the eighteen schools were collected---through observation of classroom teaching, and the teaching facilities on hand. Findings. The organization and interpretation of the data resulted in the following findings: (1) Eighteen schools offer biology as an organized course. (2) Two schools do not offer it. (3) Five different basic textbooks are in use throughout these eighteen schools. Sixty-one per cent are using editions of the biology by Smallwood, Reveley, and Bailey. (4) The Twenty-one biology teachers are using two or more of the following procedures in teaching this subject: question and answer, unit organization, projects, lecture, voluntary projects. (5) One school only is using a modified "Morrison Plan." (6) Adequate teaching facilities are lacking in most of the schools. (7) Little use is being made of environmental materials. (8) Two teachers, only, stated that they had used standardized objective tests. (9) The passing mark is seventy per cent in seventeen schools, and "D" in one school. (10) More students are studying biology than any other science offered in these schools. (11) Eighty-eight and two tenths per cent of all students studying biology are passing in this subject, and eleven and seven tenths per cent are failing. (12) Most of the twenty-one teachers did not major in biology in college. (13) A very small per cent of the teachers have had certain basis courses in biology that are considered essential in teaching this subject effectively. Recommendations. It seems that the following suggestions might prove helpful in teaching biology: (1) More emphasis should be placed upon the study of environmental specimens. (2) A general knowledge of botany ought to be stressed in high school to a greater extent than the data of this study indicate. (3) More attention should be given to the functional values of biology. (4) There ought to be an opportunity provided for the biology teachers, of the different high schools to meet and discuss their peculiar problems, and compare their teaching results and procedures.

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