God made Adam a scientist. His vocation in the garden was that of taxonomy, giving name, definition, form, and meaning to all of life. Should each of us have in part a scientific vocation of taxonomy as well? Should we do the same in our gardens (world) that we live in, thereby giving more meaning and definition to our lives? Knowing a framework for biology allows us to understand the interconnected nature of the living world. It also provides a mental structure for future information to be attached to. How soon ought we to instruct our children in these ways? How much should we teach our children to know this form and structure of all biological life on earth? How does this approach comport with Aristotle, and how has the study of diversity changed through time? Does too much emphasis on this approach risk turning our students into Darwinian naturalists? I will present the frameworks I use for 7th grade life science and 9th grade biology along with principles for teachers to create their own frameworks. I will also discuss the historical and philosophical threads I integrate into my biology class.
Robbie Andreasen has been teaching Life Science, biology, and Anatomy & Physiology at The Geneva School since 2007. He received his BS in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Miami and an MA in Bioethics from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Robbie has a contagious passion to study the intersection of faith and science and his students have come to expect a challenging, active classroom characterized by their teacher’s love and enthusiasm for learning. He was the upper school recipient of the 2013 Paideia Award for Teaching, an award that recognizes excellence in teaching. Robbie and his wife Janet (a math education professor at the University of Central Florida) have two children—both students at TGS. In his spare time, he enjoys challenging himself through activities such as jiu-jitsu and training for and participating in Tough Mudder.
Ravi Jain graduated from Davidson College as a pre-med, political science major having also served as a teaching assistant in physics and ancient Greek. He worked at various churches before receiving an M.A. from Reformed Theological Seminary. He has been teaching AP Calculus and AP Physics at the Geneva School since 2003. During this tenure he has sought to understand and champion the role of math and science in a Christian Classical curriculum. Over the past four years he has had the opportunity to deliver over 35 talks or workshops on these topics at various schools and conferences across the country. Ravi is the co-author (along with Kevin Clark) of a new book on classical education called The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosphy of Christian Classical Education, published by Classical Academic Press.