Biology High School Science Curricula for the 21st Century


High school science curricula of the 21st century have to include science-technology content and pedagogical content knowledge in a continuous interaction in order to be relevant to students’ needs. Learning units, including science, technology and related societal issues written on the Science, Technology and Society (STS), approach have to use teaching/learning strategies, and learning settings, such as cooperative learning in small groups, individual learning and computer episodes, so students will acquire science-technology literacy connected to societal issues. This approach may provide integration and participation in the advance society, so students will be able to look and find a job based on their learning. Dreyfus (1995) emphasized the importance of moral and ethics education. Science knowledge is not only for academic achievement and mastery of cognitive and meta-cognitive skills, but to educate students on the affective domain being active in the community life based on moral and ethical values, and positive attitudes toward societal issues, like social justice. Preservation of the environment and peace, as other values are addressed in the learning units presented.

Share and Cite:

Khalil, M. , Lazarowitz, R. and Hertz-Lazarowitz, R. (2014) Biology High School Science Curricula for the 21st Century. Creative Education, 5, 1464-1478. doi: 10.4236/ce.2014.516164.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Abrami, P. C., Poulsen, C., & Chambers, B. (2004). Teacher Motivation to Implement an Educational Innovation: Factors Differentiating Users and Non-Users of Cooperative Learning. Educational Psychology, 24, 201-216.
[2] Anderson, S. L. (2003). Teaching Today’s Students How to Examine Ethical Issues and Be More Actively Involved in the Learning Process. Journal of Academic Publishers, 1, 189-198.
[3] Aronson, E., Stephan, C., Sikes, J., Blaney, N., & Snapp, M. (1978). The Jigsaw Classroom. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publication.
[4] Bloom, B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals. London: Longmans.
[5] Bryant, J. A. (2002). Why I Believe That All Biology Degrees Study Should Include a Module in Bioethics. Times Higher Education Supplement, 14.
[6] Bryant, J. A., & Baggott la Velle, L. M. (2003). A Bioethics Course for Biology and Science Education Students. Journal of Biological Education, 37, 91-95.
[7] Bybee, R. W., Harms, N., Ward, B., & Yager, R. (1980). Science Society and Science Education. Science Education, 64, 377-395.
[8] Conner, N. L. (2000a). Inquiry, Discourse and Metacognition: Promoting Students’ Learning in a Bioethical Context. The Annual Meeting of the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST), New Orleans, LO.
[9] Conner, N. L. (2000b). Societal Issues: Recommendations for Teaching in Science and Technology. Pacific Asian Education, 12, 19-30.
[10] Conner, N. L. (2000c). The Significance of an Approach to the Teaching of Societal Issues Related to Biotechnology. The Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), New Orleans, LO.
[11] Dawson, V. (1998). Establishing Open and Critical Discourses in the Science Classroom: Reflecting on Initial Difficulties. Research in Science Education, 28, 317-336.
[12] Dewey, J. (1927). The School and Society. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.
[13] Dreyfus, A. (1995). Biological Knowledge as a Prerequisite for the Development of Values and Attitudes. Journal of Biological Education, 29, 215-219.
[14] Farmer, W. A., & Farrell, M. A. (1980). Systematic Instruction in Science for the Middle and High School Years. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.
[15] Fuller, F. F., & Parson, F. J. (1969). Concerns of Teachers: A Developmental Conceptualization. American Educational Research Journal, 6, 207-220.
[16] Gershon, H. (1993). Ethic in Life Sciences. In E. A. Halevi, & D. Kohn (Eds.), Technology and Ethics, Proceedings of the International Symposium (pp. 37-42). Haifa: IIT, Technion.
[17] Gilbert, R., & Hoepper, B. (1996). The Place of Values. In R. Gilbert (Ed.), Studying Society and the Environment: A Handbook for Teachers (pp. 59-79). Melbourne: Mac Millan Publishing Company.
[18] Gillies, R. M., & Ashman, A. (2003). Co-Operative Learning: The Social and Intellectual Outcomes of Learning in Groups. London: Routledge Falmer.
[19] Gottlieb, S. F. (1976). Teaching Ethical Issues in Biology. The American Biology Teacher, 38, 148-149.
[20] Hertz-Lazarowitz, R. (1992). Understanding Students Interactive Behavior: Looking at Six Mirrors of the Classroom. In R. Hertz-Lazarowitz, & N. Miller (Eds.), Interaction in Cooperative Groups (pp. 71-102). New-York: Cambridge University Press.
[21] Hertz-Lazarowitz, R. (2005). Cooperative Learning in Israel. IASCE Newsletters.
[22] Hertz-Lazarowitz, R. (2008). Beyond the Classroom and into the Community: The Role of the Teacher in Expanding the Pedagogy of Cooperation. In: R. Gillis (Ed.), Thinking and Learning during Cooperative Learning (pp. 37-54). London: Rutledge Farmer.
[23] Hughes, G. (2000). Marginalization of Socio-Scientific Material in Science-Technology-Society Science Curricula: Some Implications for Gender Inclusivity and Curricula Reform. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37, 426-440.<426::AID-TEA3>3.0.CO;2-U
[24] Khalil, M. (2002). a) Microorganisms, a STS Learning Unit (in Arabic. p. 116, in Hebrew, p. 116). b) Teachers’ Handbook: Microorganisms, in Arabic, 76 p., in Hebrew, 76 p. Haifa: The Israel Science Teaching Center and the R & D Institute, IIT, Technion.
[25] Khalil, M., Lazarowitz, R., & Hertz-Lazarowitz, R. (2009). A Conceptual Model, the Six Mirrors of the Classroom and Its’ Application to Teaching and Learning about Microorganisms. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 18, 85-100.
[26] Khalil, M. (2007). Teaching the Microorganisms Learning Unit: Academic Achievements and Attitudes toward Environment and Peace of 9th Grade Students. Journal of Stellar Peacemaking, 2, 1-26.
[27] Layton, D. (1993). Technology Challenge to Science Education. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
[28] Lazarowitz, R. (2000). Research in Science, Content Knowledge Structure, and Secondary School Curricula. Israel Journal of Plant Science, 48, 229-238.
[29] Lazarowitz, R., & Hertz-Lazarowitz, R. (1998). Cooperative Learning in Science Curriculum. In B. J. Fraser, & K. G. Tobin (Eds.), International Handbook of Science Education (pp. 449-471). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
[30] Lazarowitz, R., & Karsenty, G. (1990). Cooperative Leaning and Students’ Self-Esteem in Tenth Grade Biology Classroom. In S. Sharan (Ed.), Cooperative Learning: Theory and Research (pp. 123-149). New York: Praeger Publisher.
[31] Lazarowitz, R., & Bloch, I. (2006) Awareness of Societal Issues among High School Biology Teachers Teaching Genetics. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 14, 437-457.
[32] Lazarowitz, R., & Tamir, P. (1994). Research on Using Laboratory Instruction in Science. In D. Gabel (Ed.), Handbook of Research in Science Teaching and Learning (pp. 94-128). New York: The Macmillan Publishing Company.
[33] Lipman, M. (1991). Thinking in Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[34] Muller-Hill, B. (1998). Murderous Science, Elimination by Scientific Selection of Jews, Gypsies and Others in Germany, 1933-1945. New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Plainview.
[35] Nachshon, M. (2000). Ionizing Radiation. The Biological Effects and Uses. Haifa, Israel: The Israel Science Teaching Center and the R&D Institute, IIT, Technion, p. 153.
[36] Ron, S., & Lazarowitz, R. (1995). Learning Environment and Academic Achievement of High School Students Who Learned Evolution in a Cooperative Mode. The Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, NARST, San Francisco.
[37] Rosenthal, D. B. (1984). Social Issues in High School Biology Textbooks: 1963-1983. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 21, 819-831.
[38] Sabar-Ben, J. (1997). The Qualitative Research in Teaching and Learning. Massada, Givataim, Israel, p. 32 & 95. (In Hebrew)
[39] Sharan, S., & Hertz Lazarowitz, R. (1986). KooperativesLehren. In A. Weber (Ed.), Kooperatives Lehren und Lernen in die Schule (pp. 201-222). Agentur Dieck: Heinsberg, West Germany.
[40] Watson, D. J. (2000). A Passion for DNA: Genes, Genomes and Society. Five Days in Berlin. New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Plainview, 209-222.
[41] Witenoff, S., & Lazarowitz, R. (1993). Restructuring Laboratory Worksheet for Junior High School Students in the Heterogeneous Classroom. Research in Science and Technological Education, 11, 225-239.
[42] Zohar, A., & Nenet, F. (2002) Fostering Students’ Knowledge and Argumentation Skills through Dilemmas in Human Genetics. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39, 35-62.

Copyright © 2021 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.