Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 20. State Board Of Education
Chapter 543. Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in Virginia

8VAC20-543-420. Science – biology.

The program in biology shall ensure that the candidate has demonstrated the following competencies:

1. Understanding of the knowledge, skills, and practices of the four core science disciplines, including Earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics as defined in the Virginia Science Standards of Learning and how these provide a sound foundation for teaching biology.

2. Understanding of the nature of science and scientific inquiry, including the following:

a. Function of research design and experimentation;

b. Role and nature of the theory in explaining and predicting events and phenomena;

c. Practices required to provide empirical answers to research questions, including data collection and analysis, modeling, augmentation with evidence, and constructing explanations;

d. Reliability of scientific knowledge and its constant scrutiny and refinement;

e. Self-checking mechanisms used by science to increase objectivity including peer review; and

f. Assumptions, influencing conditions, and limits of empirical knowledge.

3. Understanding of the knowledge, skills, and processes for teaching laboratory science, including the ability to:

a. Design instruction reflecting the goals of the Virginia Science Standards of Learning;

b. Implement classroom, field, and laboratory safety rules and procedures and ensure that students take appropriate safety precautions;

c. Conduct research projects and experiments including applications of the design process and technology;

d. Conduct systematic field investigations using the school grounds, the community, and regional resources;

e. Organize key biological content, skills, and practices into meaningful units of instruction that actively engage students in learning;

f. Design instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners using a variety of techniques;

g. Evaluate instructional materials technologies, and teaching practices;

h. Conduct formative and summative assessments of student learning;

i. Incorporate instructional technology to enhance student performance; and

j. Ensure student competence in biology.

4. Understanding of the content, skills, and practices of biology, equivalent to an undergraduate degree in biology, with course work in genetics, biochemistry/molecular biology, cell biology, botany, zoology, anatomy/physiology, ecology, and evolutionary biology.

5. Understanding of basic physics, chemistry including organic chemistry, the Earth sciences, and mathematics including statistics to ensure:

a. The placement of biology in an appropriate interdisciplinary context;

b. The ability to teach the skills, practices, and crosscutting concepts common to the Earth, biological, and physical sciences;

c. The application of key principles in biology to solve practical problems; and

d. A "systems" understanding of the natural world.

6. Understanding of the contributions and significance of biology, including:

a. Its social, cultural, and economic significance;

b. The relationship of biology and other sciences to mathematics, the design process, and technology; and

c. The historical development of scientific concepts and scientific reasoning.

7. Understanding of and proficiency in grammar, usage, and mechanics and their integration in writing.

8. Understanding of and proficiency in pedagogy to incorporate writing as an instructional and assessment tool for candidates to generate, gather, plan, organize, and present ideas in writing to communicate for a variety of purposes.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-298.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 34, Issue 24, eff. August 23, 2018.

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