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Microbiology Curriculum Objectives and Guidelines

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored a national conference in 2019 to address “the need within the biology community to discuss a shared vision for undergraduate biology education and the changes needed to achieve that vision” (Brewer & Smith, 2009, p. viii). The resulting product was the “Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action” (Brewer & Smith, 2009). Five overarching concepts were developed and have served as the foundation for all undergraduate biology courses. These five themes are:

  • Evolution;
  • Structure and function;
  • Information flow, exchange, and storage;
  • Pathways and transformations of energy and matter; and
  • Systems

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) formed a task force and held meetings over two years to establish overarching themes and skills for undergraduate microbiology courses. The American Society for Microbiology’s Recommended Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Microbiology (2012) encourages conceptual understanding with 27 topics that fall under six overarching themes:

  • Evolution;
  • cell structure and function;
  • metabolic pathways;
  • information flow and genetics;
  • microbial systems; and
  • impact of microorganisms.

There are four scientific thinking competencies and seven microbiology laboratory skills (American Society for Microbiology, 2012). Below are microbiology guidelines and learning outcomes: