Does Mortal Man Have the Right to Play God?
The American history teacher
For the past several years students enrolled in an advanced-biology course at West Lafayette (Ind.) High School have taken my introductory course in botany (Biology 108) or zoology (Biology 109) at Purdue University, during the spring semester. That, in itself, is not very noteworthy; opportunities are being given to high-school seniors all across the country to take college courses. What is unusual is the format of the teaching, the involvement of the high-school staff members in the teaching
... rs in the teaching of the college course, and the success of the high-school students in these courses. Biology 108 and 109 are service courses taught in the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue. Most students in the sequence are enrolled either in the School of Agriculture, in options ranging from general agriculture to pre-veterinary medicine, or in the School of Pharmacy. Both courses are taught audiotutorially and use the concepts of learning-formastery and modular packages, or mini-courses. The high-school biology teachers at West Lafayette are developers of a successful audiotutorial program in biology (C. Smiley, K. Bush, and D. McGaw, 1972: "An A-T Program in High School Biology," ABT 34 : 84-89). The teachers, Curtis Smiley and David McGaw, take part each spring in the presentation of 108 and 109: each volunteers to become a teaching assistant in the Learning Center one evening each week and to conduct a quiz section for the regular college students in the late afternoon or during the lunch hour. This service not only compensates for the added presence of their students in the Learning Center but also helps to maintain their own interest and competency in the subject matter. Thus, when they deal with their own students in written and oral quiz sessions each Friday at the high school, during their regularly scheduled class hour, they are much better prepared and able to help and evaluate. The high-school student completes exactly the same course requirements as the college student. He takes the same written quizzes-extra copies are prepared for the high-school teachers-and oral quizzes. The grading procedure is precisely the same for the college student and the high-school student. High-school students taking either course are not scheduled into the Learning Center for their independent study sessions. This is also true, of course, for the regular college student; independent study is completed at the student's own convenience and pace. The high-school students usually elect to come into the center during the evening hours, but some