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7-SUBJECT KNOWLEDGE

The Heuristic View

CI Masters degree students demonstrate their knowledge of the


content that they teach through the admissions requirements and/or
through content coursework that is included in the degree.
In order to be a good teacher, one has to know the material. The idea
that those who cant, teach is incompatible with everything that I
have observed or experienced as a teacher. I would argue that those
who love, teach. Not only those that love the subject matter but also
those that love students and hope to make a difference in anothers
life through their efforts. It is also important that teachers keep
learning about their subject so that they can further spark student
interest with interesting facts and enrich the classroom topics.
Students deserve competent teachers that know the material; to have
anything else would be a disservice. I will admit that I have to relearn
and remind myself of facts and vocabulary before teaching some
lessons, but I have the foundational knowledge necessary to teach a
survey of biology class and likely an AP class with some further review.
I do not ask students to learn anything that I have not learned myself
and the material that I ask them to learn is foundational.
I do not pretend to know everything. I teach them what I know and
give them the resources to find out more if they choose. Any question
that they ask that I cannot answer is an opportunity for us all to learn. I
emphasize using trusted websites and textbooks to find the answers
on their own and invite them to share with the class when appropriate.

The Service View

Getting a degree is very empowering. It takes hard work and


dedication and prepares one to be a better citizen. I learned so much
about biology and about myself during my undergraduate degree and
even more about myself and about teaching during my graduate
program. Even though school has dominated my life for the past 7
years I have not become jaded by it, as evidenced by my choice to
spend my career in a school setting. I love being in a learning
environment because I like to learn. I find it very rewarding and
enjoyable and I hope to instill that in my future students. I also hope to
be an example to those that want to continue on into higher education.

Again, I believe that the goal of the COE conceptual framework is to


make great teachers. That starts with a passion for your subject area
and a knowledge of the material.
I am very proud of my degrees and feel comfortable talking about
biology and about teaching with professionals who are more
experienced than myself. I continue to learn about biology and about
teaching using the foundational knowledge that I have gained by
completing my university classes.

The Learning View

After receiving my undergraduate degree, I was unsure about what to


do or how to continue. I felt that I needed more education in order to
have the life and the career that I wanted (though I hadnt chosen a
particular career). It felt right to continue going to school, if nothing
else to give myself more time to decide what I really wanted. I was
lucky to discover teaching because its a combination of creativity and
science that I find very fun and rewarding.
During my undergraduate degree I had the opportunity to work in labs
with very intelligent and motivated scholars, learn about different
aspects of biology, gain an appreciation for the beauty and complexity
of the world, utilize resources to find information and write intelligibly
about my research. It was one of the most eye-opening and rewarding
experiences of my entire life.
Too many words to listabiotic and biotic factors, k-selected and rselected species, analogous, homologous, spiracle, water-vascular
system, deuterostome, protostome, cloaca, mycorrhizae, ecological
niche, xylem, phloem, cambium, gibberellins, cytokinins, RuBisco,
electron acceptor, humoral response, peristalsis, lignin, ligand, etc.