e d g e - education for disability and gender equity

TEACHER'S
GUIDE


CONTENTS

 
1 Overview
2 Common Threads
3 EDGE Website
4 Using the Guide
5 Lessons
  5.1 Physics
  5.2 Biology
  5.3 Government
  5.4 Culture
6 Other Resources
   
 

5.2 BIOLOGY - or - How does disability happen?

 
5.2.2   Resources
5.2.3   Some Notable People
5.2.4   Before Using the Biology Module
5.2.5   After Using the Biology Module
 

5.2.1 SUMMARY
Medicine has a specific role in defining disability in terms of measurable differences from the nondisabled norm. Too often these basic facts are laden with negative values about people whose bodies are different from the norm. The EDGE Biology module uses the factual information about human body differences but puts it into a non-judgmental context. Principles of genetic variation and the biological result of spinal cord injury are taught with the same value as eye color variation.

In the Activity section, students map out the genetic pattern of hereditary deafness. Resource links are provided so that students can continue learning factual information and to read interviews of scientists with disabilities and of people living with these disabilities. (see Lesson Plan Content)

5.2.2 RESOURCES
Genetic Science Learning Center -
http://gslc.genetics.utah.edu/

5.2.3 SOME NOTABLE PEOPLE
Michael Ain, M.D. - Surgeon with Dwarfism
http://www.jhu.edu/%7Ejhumag/0499web/ortho.html

Christopher Burke - Actor with Down Syndrome
http://www.arcark.org/drbethinterview.html

5.2.4 BEFORE USING THE BIOLOGY MODULE

  1. Have students discuss the following: "If I found out during pregnancy that my baby might have a disability, I would " Help the students to identify sources of their opinions - media, medical information, etc. Ask if any of their opinions are based on direct information from people with genetic disabilities.
  2. Have the students make a list of disabilities that have a genetic root Ask them also to identify other traits like height, eye color or hair texture that might have genetic roots. Ask them to identify people who have those disabilities.

5.2.5 AFTER USING THE BIOLOGY MODULE

  1. Have the students write about the new information they learned from using the Biology module. Have them include not only facts but also people living with genetic-based disabilities.
  2. Have the students interview people living with either a genetic-based disability or a spinal cord injury. What did they learn from their interviews? How did it change their opinions about having those disabilities?
  3. Have students contrast the lives of people born with a disability compared to someone who acquired a disability through spinal cord injury- using real life examples from research on the web or interviews.

5.2.6 LESSON PLAN AND CONTENT
This lesson is divided into two sections. The first looks at chromosomes and how differences in them create different body configurations. In this section we study both the basics of genetics as well as the implications of genetic difference. In the second section we explore injuries to the spinal cord and the implications of those injuries.

Activities
In the genetic disorders lesson, the activity is focused on trying to figure out the pattern of genetic mutation in a family. This activity is offered in three ways: two "easier, quicker versions" one is graphic based and the other is text based, and a "more challenging version". This allows a greater variety of students to participate at their own level. The focus is on trying to solve the genetic pattern in hereditary deafness within this family.

In the spinal cord lesson, the activity is a roll-over of a spinal cord. For each section (cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral) a description of the implications of injury to that level is explained.

Self-Test
In the Self-Test students are able to assess the level of their understanding of both the lesson and the accompanying activities. In eight multiple choice questions students get immediate feedback on their answers.

People Resources
Within each area there are separate resources. The genetic disorders People Resources include: general, deafness, Down syndrome, sickle cell, and other genetic disorders. The spinal cord section includes people with varying levels of spinal cord injuries as well as some in-utero spinal injuries, such as spina bifida.

Resources for further learning
The genetic disorders Resources include categories for: general, deafness, Down syndrome, sickle cell, and other genetic disorders. The spinal cord Resources include information on pain, media, and wheelchair building.

Next - Part 5.3 - Government


BACK arrow BACK
NEXT arrow

PhysicsGovernmentResearchHelp