Evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria
This activity involves making observations, linking evidence to theory, and constructing scientific arguments and conceptual models that incorporate multiple scales of biological organization (molecular, organismal, population) in the context of a changing environment, over time.
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
a) constructing scientific arguments, as claims based on evidence and supported by appropriate reasoning and scientific theories;
b) creating conceptual models to represent structures, behaviors and functions of complex systems.
Students had already worked on the biological concepts of phenotypic variation, genetic variation, fitness and population change over time.
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
1. Apply the general definition of Natural Selection to explain the evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria populations.
2. Use data (evidence) to make claims about variation, fitness, selection and evolution in populations.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
2. Application of general concepts to a specific case;
3. Interpretation of graphs and other kinds of evidence;
4. Synthesis of multiple concepts in a single concept model.
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
We used this example, relevant to everyday life, to guide students to uncover the complexity of the underlying biological mechanism, and to "see" how the evolution principles they have learned are interconnected and apply to a specific case.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
- Module on evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria (Acrobat (PDF) 571kB Mar26 10)