Adventures in pedagogy
Last Fall I starting blogging about the pedagogical experiments I was conducting during my last two years as a Lewis-Sigler Fellow at Princeton. I kicked off the series by describing a paper-based approach to teaching undergraduate biology. The recipes are easy to follow and tolerate substitutions. For example, take what I dubbed precept puzzles. In the first half of class, I walked my students through the figures of a paper they had never seen but that was germane to lectures. In the second half of class the students formed small breakout groups to discuss and interpret the data, with each group sending an emissary to the chalkboard to present before the class an explanatory model in 2-3 minutes.
I previously blogged about two of a favorite precept puzzles. One features a classic paper describing one my beloved natural products called rapamycin. The solution is a model that explains how rapamycin inhibits yeast cell growth. The other precept puzzle features a paper on an often-misunderstood concept from genetics called epistasis. The solution is a model that explains how a group of genes regulate each other’s activity in the mustard weed, experimental biology’s favorite plant.
I will gradually post content from my Princeton teaching archive over the next few months. In this first tranche, I’ve uploaded to Slideshare two decks from the population genetics module of ISC236, which is the Spring course. The first deck is about cystic fibrosis, and the second slide deck is about the group of rare diseases called lysosomal storage disorders, for example Tay-Sachs disease.
This weekend, I will annotate each of these decks for posterity in two separate posts on my lab website, so please stay tuned..