The August 2016 issue of ABT contained several articles demonstrating new teaching strategies in the field of biology. However, there was no discussion of two more fundamental questions that should be answered prior to a choice of pedagogical strategies. First, we should ask “Why should a student take a biology course in high school or undergraduate college?” The answers to this question will lead directly to the second question: “What topics in biology should be taught and to what depth? Only when there are good answers to these questions can an appropriate teaching/learning strategy be selected.
Incidentally, some of the strategies discussed in this issue may represent old wine in new bottles. For example, I cotaught a course for first-year college students in 1956–57 that would now be considered a “flipped course.”