Free resources on hot topics such as TB, AIDS and microbes and climate change.
Microbes, as living organisms, can be used to teach many of the basic principles of biology, just as well as plants and animals. For example algae can be used to teach photosynthesis.
|Basic principles||Learning outcomes||Examples|
|Structure and function||Teaching the difference between eukaryotes and prokaryotes||Fungi and algae are eukaryotes|
|Microscopy||Microscopy skills||Mixed cultures of algae and protozoa can be used to observe phenomena such as chemotaxis and predation|
|Photosynthesis and respiration||
|Ecology and diversity||Biodiversity, the effect of abiotic and biotic factors on the distribution of organisms||Ecological succession can be taught through gut microbiota|
|Evolution and natural selection||Antibiotic resistance and host pathogen-interactions||MRSA|
|Genetics||Gene technology, gene therapy, and genetically modified crops||
Microbiology can be used to exemplify some of the HSW criteria across the key stages. The table below highlights how microbiology can be used at key stage 5 to support the criteria for HSW .
|Criteria||Learning outcomes||Microbiology examples|
|Use theories, models and ideas to develop and modify scientific explanations.||Explain how the development of scientific theories involves forming a hypothesis, collecting and interpreting data and creative thinking. Progress is made when validated evidence supports a new theory. Scientific models can be used to explain and develop scientific concepts.||
|Appreciate the tentative nature of scientific knowledge.||Understand how scientific theories are developed, refined, supported or refuted as new data or its interpretations become available.||The role of molecular biology in the development of the 3 domain system of classification.|
|Consider applications and implications of science and appreciate their associated benefits and risks.||Evaluate the benefits and risks of scientific activities to the environment, humans and other organisms. Discuss the actual levels of risk, consequences, uncertainties and people’s perception of risk relating to these activities.||
|Consider ethical issues in the treatment of humans, other organisms and the environment||Identify ethical issues associated with the application of science. Appreciate the impact of science on the environment, humans and other organisms and discuss these issues from a range of viewpoints.||
|Appreciate the role of the scientific community in validating new knowledge and ensuring integrity.||Describe how new scientific findings are critically evaluated and validated by other scientists who communicate via peer-reviewed journals and conferences.||
|Appreciate the ways in which society uses science to inform decision-making.||Appreciate how science influences decision-making on an individual, local, national or international level. Prior beliefs, personal interest, public opinion, the media and expert scientific evidence all influence decision makers.||