Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Beth Schults

Second Advisor

Dr. Thane S. Robinson

Third Advisor

Dr. William C. Van Deventer

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Chapter I


In discussing the basis for teaching high school biology, Van Deventer1 states, "...the present typical course in high school biology serves adequately neither the terminal student nor the college entrance student." He holds that today's courses present watered-down versions of college courses to the student before the intelligence of the student has matured enough to grasp such subject matter. As a result there is very little carry-over value from such courses, and the students may even develop a dislike for biology. This study constitutes an effort to understand these problems and to devise ways of solving them.

Statement of the Problem.

The problem for this project was to develop a unit of study for a ninth grade biology class which would result in a cooperative learning situation for all involved. The basic biological principles of the unit are those involved in the concept of the biotic community. The laboratory work consisted of field and classroom study of an aquatic community--its physical and biotic factors.