Honour Specialist (Biology)

Course Code: YU20HBI1

Much of the current research into teaching biology today emphasizes the need for innovation with a skills-based approach that engages and motivates all students for success. With this comes an opportunity to review the basic beliefs, practices and curriculum which generate effective learning.
In this Honour Specialist (Biology) course, we will examine our values, perceptions and knowledge about the teaching, learning and leadership in biology. We will build on these understandings through professional readings, exploring interesting new ways of teaching, engaging discussions, ongoing analysis, reflection, self-directed learning and an independent project with a leadership focus. These learning experiences will provide the basis for your understanding of current pedagogy in the teaching of biology for critical thinking, as well as enable you to prepare to engage change in your classroom and school setting. You will look closely at a variety of instructional strategies for tiered learning as well as your role as a leader and a facilitator of change. By deepening your understanding of professional communities of practice, you will solidify your own ability to be a strong communicator and mentor/coach to assist your teacher colleagues in adopting a “strong vision” for teaching biology in Ontario schools.


  • Be a member in good standing with the OCT
  • FOUR-year (20 full courses) academic undergraduate degree, (excluding education courses)
  • NINE full courses (non-education) in the subject of the Honour Specialist (Biology), with a minimum B average
  • Minimum TWO years certified teaching experience by the first day of the course, subsequent to certification including at least ONE year in Biology.

Documents Required

  • Official transcript(s) sent directly to the Professional Learning Office from the granting institution before course start
  • Signed Supervisory Officer's Form by course end date confirming teaching experience
Session Dates
Start Date: Jul 06, 2020
End Date: Jul 31, 2020
Online: July 6 - 31, 2020.

This 125 hour course consists of 100 hours of interactive coursework and 25 hours of independent learning. Regular and relevant candidate participation is a requirement. Expect to be online at least every second day for Fall, Winter and Spring courses; and every weekday during a Summer course to complete assignments and collaborate in discussion forums. All deadlines will be communicated by the Instructor.


Bowers, Ray