BioLogos and BioLogos INTEGRATE Questions
What is INTEGRATE?
INTEGRATE is a flexible resource designed for teachers and parents who wish to supplement an introductory high school biology course with explicitly Christian worldview instruction. It is not a standalone biology curriculum. Each INTEGRATE unit corresponds with a major topic covered in a biology course and provides structured activities for a traditional classroom or homeschool use.
Who should use INTEGRATE?
INTEGRATE is designed with the needs of Christian school teachers, homeschool parents, and homeschool co-op teachers in mind. It could also be used at home by parents whose children attend schools where it is unlikely many of the topics covered by the INTEGRATE curriculum will be addressed. Christian instructors who teach in public schools may also find it a valuable resource for classroom activities that deal with the reliability of scientific evidence and the ethical questions science raises. The flexible modular set-up allows teachers to pick and choose the kinds of activities that best suit their goals, time constraints, and students’ interests.
What is BioLogos?
BioLogos invites the church and the world to see the harmony between science and biblical faith as we present an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation.
In 2006 Dr. Francis S. Collins, then Director of the Human Genome Project, wrote The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, sharing his journey from atheism to Christian belief. He showed that science is not in conflict with biblical faith, but instead enhances it. In the book, Collins coined the term “BioLogos”, combining the Greek words bios (life) and logos (Christ, the Word).
Collins was inundated with letters after the publication of the book, particularly from young people who, often for the first time, saw how modern science and Christian faith could be in harmony. This prompted Collins to found the ministry of BioLogos to provide virtual and actual meeting places where the best Christian minds in the sciences, theology, and other fields could meet for the good of the church and as a witness to the world.
With a commitment to spirited and gracious dialogue and a confidence in the ultimate harmony between God’s Word and God’s world, BioLogos has worked since then to transform the conversation on science and faith in the church and the public square.
Does BioLogos affirm creation or evolution?
Both. Our distinctive position is called Evolutionary Creation. In affirming God’s role as creator of all things, as described in the Bible, we are creationists. Yet we also believe that the diversity and interrelation of all life on earth are best explained by the God-ordained process of evolution with common descent.
What is the BioLogos statement of faith?
Our Beliefs statement is affirmed in full by each member of our staff and Board.
Is INTEGRATE only for people who already accept evolution?
INTEGRATE comes from an evolutionary creationist perspective. It presumes that mainstream science is reliable and accepts the evolutionary model as the prevailing scientific explanation of the diversity of life. You will not find material that attempts to disprove or discredit the evolutionary model, and INTEGRATE does not attempt to spend equal time or attribute equal validity to other Christian perspectives like young earth creationism.
That said, INTEGRATE is written with sensitivity to the fact that the evolutionary creationist perspective will challenge many Christian students’ worldviews. We have made an effort to ensure that other Christian perspectives on origins are discussed respectfully. Reflection assignments and discussion questions are intentionally open-ended and allow students to process the material in the context of their own beliefs and values without expecting they adopt any one “correct” perspective.
Does INTEGRATE teach a particular church or denomination’s doctrine?
INTEGRATE is written from an ecumenical Protestant perspective. It is designed to create teachable moments, open up discussion, and foster a safe space for students to navigate their personal faith-science questions. Instructors are free to infuse the lessons with the perspective of their particular faith tradition or denomination. INTEGRATE teaches students how to find truth in Scripture for themselves, provides them with quality resources to evaluate and discuss, and presents them with questions designed to help them build their own Christian worldview.
Who developed INTEGRATE?
INTEGRATE is a project of BioLogos. The INTEGRATE curriculum development team includes scientists, teachers, and homeschool parents. Science and theology content will be reviewed by experts in relevant disciplines, and all materials will be piloted in both homeschool and Christian school settings. Feedback from expert reviewers and pilot teachers will be incorporated before INTEGRATE becomes commercially available. Additional consulting about the needs of Christian schools, teachers, and students is provided by a panel of Christian administrators and educators from a range of Christian faith traditions who work in a variety of educational settings.
Who funded the development of INTEGRATE?
The BioLogos INTEGRATE project was made possible through the support of grants from the John Templeton Foundation and TBF Foundation. The opinions expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of either foundation. We are also grateful for financial support from the Rainbow Foundation and from individual supporters. If you are interested in supporting BioLogos projects like INTEGRATE, please give today!
Planning and Instruction Questions
What biology curriculum should be used alongside INTEGRATE?
INTEGRATE is designed to supplement the typical units found in an introductory biology course. The progression of units in INTEGRATE follows Miller and Levine’s Biology textbook (see table of contents here). INTEGRATE could also be used successfully with other standard biology textbooks or instructional programs, since the units are designed to stand alone and may be used in the order the instructor deems most appropriate for his or her course. Homeschool teachers, please check back soon as we are developing biology curriculum recommendations for you!
What's the difference between a unit and a module?
An INTEGRATE unit addresses a cluster of questions related to a topical area that is covered in a typical high school biology course (e.g. Ways of Knowing, Creation Care, The Bible and Origins). Units are composed of modules, each of which is a self-contained set of activities with one main focus. Modules are designed in sequence such that they build on each other, but a teacher may pick and choose which modules within a given unit she wants to use.
What are the types of modules within a unit?
Each unit contains one or more of each of the following module types:
- Meet - videos featuring scientists and scholars, paired with discussion questions; many times the person’s work is featured elsewhere in the unit. The aim is to introduce Christian role models and expose students to a variety of career possibilities at the intersection of faith and biology.
- Grow - short (15min) meditations on Scripture that explore how one of the Christian virtues (e.g. perseverance, faith, humility) resonates with the overall topic. The aim is to help students make meaningful connections between God’s word, what they are learning, and their lives.
- Experience - a hands-on science activity that promotes active learning of the biology topic at hand and fulfills one or more of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). While we are not producing a biology curriculum per se, we want to showcase the best one or two activities that will work well with 1 or 20 students. This is especially important for homeschool educators who are teaching biology for the first time, and who can be lost in the sea of online lab possibilities.
- Explore - a series of readings, videos, discussions, or other activities that help students explore a particular theological, biblical, ethical, or philosophical concept.
- Integrate - the capstone of each unit that challenges students to reflect on how their thinking/learning developed over the course of the unit, and articulate their own beliefs, goals, and plans of action.
Does the sequence of the INTEGRATE units matter or can I rearrange them?
The units are not cumulative and do not need to be used in a particular order, although they are arranged in a suggested order that corresponds to the typical progression of topics in an introductory biology course. Within each unit, activities are modular. Instructors can choose to use only selected units that interest them and they can also choose to use only certain activities within the units. Some modules could be used alongside more than one biology topic, so cross-references and suggestions are included where appropriate.
What does it mean that INTEGRATE activities are correlated to NGSS standards?
The Next Generation Science Standards were released in 2013 and are driving curriculum development and classroom instruction choices in many U.S. school districts. All the INTEGRATE activities that deal primarily with science content list the NGSS standards that are addressed by the activity. This is an aid to instructors who are expected to refer to NGSS standards in their lesson planning, and it also demonstrates that INTEGRATE is a professional educational product designed to promote the current vision for enriching science education in today’s classrooms.
Can INTEGRATE be used to supplement AP Biology or a college biology course?
INTEGRATE is written to be used with high school freshmen or sophomores. It could potentially be used to supplement an AP Biology course or introductory college biology course with older students. It would be up to the instructor to modify the level and expectations appropriately.
Can INTEGRATE be used with students younger than high school?
INTEGRATE is written to be used with high school freshmen or sophomores. Some activities could be used with motivated and advanced middle school life science students. It would be up to the instructor to modify the level and expectations appropriately. The mature themes raised by some of the activities may not be appropriate for middle school students. Also younger students may not yet have developed the abstract reasoning skills that many of the discussion questions presume.
Does each student in a class need access to a computer, or just the instructor?
The INTEGRATE online curriculum is designed primarily for the instructor, not the student. It is a teacher resource guide, not an online student course. Many activities include printables that teachers can prepare for classroom use, and these activities often do not require a computer or internet connection to complete in the classroom. Some activities make use of web-based videos or other online media resources, in which case, the instructor would need a computer, Internet access, and a projector, or students would need access to personal computers or tablets and internet to complete that component of the activity.
Is there a hard copy version of the INTEGRATE instructor guide available?
BioLogos does not have plans to produce a printed version of the INTEGRATE material. Having everything web-based allows us to update and expand the materials over time. Web-based resources also sometimes require different licensing and copyright permissions than printed material would require. Aside from the lesson plans and student activities that are designed to be printed and used off-line with a class, the content is formatted for ease of navigation on a computer and not intended to be printed out and used as a hard copy teacher manual.
Do I need a science background to use INTEGRATE?
No. The curriculum is designed to supplement a high school biology course. It assumes your student has access to what he or she needs to learn high school biology. One of the advantages of INTEGRATE is that the vetting of resources has been done by people with expertise in relevant areas, so instructors can be confident the activities are good ones, even if they lack the background to personally evaluate the content. Furthermore, many of the activities are Bible/theology oriented, since this is a resource aimed at faith/learning integration.
Can a student use INTEGRATE for independent learning or does it require an instructor?
The INTEGRATE online interface is designed to be used by instructors, not students. The modules are set up so that instructors can select appropriate activities from what is offered. We presume that an instructor is choosing how activities are implemented and setting the expectations for how work will be evaluated. Also, most activities assume there will be opportunity for discussion and feedback. A motivated student could potentially use the resources incorporated in the INTEGRATE activities to foster independent investigation into the various topics. But parents/teachers should be aware that the curriculum is not designed to be used for independent learning, nor is it an online class.
Does BioLogos have biology curriculum recommendations for homeschoolers?
See "What biology curriculum should be used alongside INTEGRATE?" above. We are actively working on homeschool-specific recommendations.
Does BioLogos send representatives to education conferences?
We plan to do so in the future! Please check back for updates.
Tell us about your favorite conference by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
Christian School Questions
Will using a secular textbook dilute our Christian identity?
Some Christians fear that secular books represent a slippery slope to worldliness. However, research seems to show this slippery slope fear is unfounded when faith integration is paired with a secular textbook. It is true that secular sources are sometimes biased against religion (just as Christian sources are sometimes biased or misinformed). We encourage teachers to help students recognize instances of secular bias and respond from a Christian perspective.
The science presented in standard secular textbooks is reasonably reliable and accurate; there is not a unique Christian version of scientific facts. But as Christians, the questions, motivations, virtues, and goals we bring to the pursuit of scientific truth and the application of scientific knowledge should be informed by Scripture and reflect our Christian character, values, and beliefs.
INTEGRATE equips educators to use the basic scientific facts presented in secular resources as a jumping off point for considering the deep questions, ethical debates, and possible Christian responses to scientific facts. We invite students to “explore biology from a Christian worldview.” Developing this orientation in students is what helps them build an identity as Christians, Christian students of science, and potentially the Christian scientists of the future.
How should I talk to parents skeptical about BioLogos about the choice to use INTEGRATE?
Evolutionary creation is still a minority view in some Christian circles, and may be considered heretical. We encourage parents to read the BioLogos beliefs statement to see what common ground we share. Parents can also be made aware that the perspective on faith and science presented in this course is one endorsed by the vast majority of Christian college biology departments. It is important that students understand the evidence for evolution or climate change, even if they do not ultimately accept it. Many parents would prefer to have their student think through these issues while they are still living at home and they have more opportunities to discuss what is being taught. Parents can be assured that students will not be required to accept evolutionary creationism as the only right answer, and they will have space to express their beliefs, even if they are not in line with the BioLogos perspective.
Do you offer teacher training for new users of INTEGRATE?
In the future we plan to offer webinars, regional training events, and possibly on-site professional development trainings. Please contact us at email@example.com to discuss your needs.
- Can I invite a BioLogos speaker to come to my school?
Subscription, Payment, and Customer Support Questions
When will INTEGRATE become available?
The 2018-2019 pilot program is currently full. We will enroll teachers for the following school year in Summer 2019.
We anticipate that INTEGRATE will become available in 2019 or 2020.
How much will INTEGRATE cost? Is there an annual subscription?
We are working on this! Please check back soon.