Biology as a subject needs more love

In an online youth forum, Mr Boo Zhao Zhi laments that Biology, in comparison to its science counterparts Chemistry and Physics, isn't being embraced on the same level as evidenced from the scarcity of questions posed by students taking up the subject in homework discussion threads.

To verify his exact sentiments, I therefore questioned:

"I take it to mean you feel Biology as a subject has been sidestepped? Traditionally, isn't biology perceived to be a subject where one can excel via sheer efforts of memorization and regurgitation?

Correct me if I am wrong."

Zhao Zhi answered:

"Yes that's what I meant.

It is true that Biology has much memory work involved. But then again, doesn't this apply to all the sciences? Physics, you gotta memorise the formulae and the SI units. Chemistry, you gotta memorise the Q/A (qualitative analysis) steps. And that is just some of the stuff but my point is that learning science is like learning a new language, and part of learning a new language is understanding the lingo. It is unfortunate that the O/A level syllabus has focused Biology on pure facts and memory and the students have take Biology as such: pure memory.

Students should stop and ask why. They should ask about the things they are trying to memorise. Why do systems work in a certain way? If they understand, then they would realise that there is not much need to memorise stuff at all.

And asking questions should also apply to the other sciences. I took Chemistry during the Os and I hated memorising the Q/A list. All the different colors changing all over the place. And crap precipitating from seemingly nowhere. But if I had stopped and asked why the chemicals made such brilliant colors, or how can something precipitate, and then dissolve again like magic, then I would probably had a more enjoyable time going through the Q/A."



The Czar (Site Founder)

Dated 9 January 2013


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