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The Revolution in Science Education

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  1. The Revolution in Science Education • Stages of revolution • Diversity and the revolution • The Summer Institute and the revolution

  2. Nature of the Revolution in Science Education • From teaching to learning • From passive to active • From facts to concepts • From uniformity to diversity • From individualistic to cooperative • From private to public • From random action to scholarship

  3. Origins of the Revolution in Science Education • AAAS “Science for All Americans” • National Research Council “From Analysis to Action” • National Academy of Sciences “Reshaping the Graduate Education of Scientists and Engineers” • National Research Council “Bio2010”

  4. Sobering Facts • Widespread biological illiteracy • Inability of biology students to engage in conceptual and analytical thinking • Poor retention (10-20% lecture content) • Exit of students from college biology majors

  5. THE CRISIS IN SCIENCE EDUCATION Predicted shortfall of 600,000 scientists/engineers 60% of college science majors switch to non-science 33% of minority students plan on science major minorities = 14% of college population receive 8% of BS degrees in science receive 4% of doctoral degrees in science

  6. WHY STUDENTS LEAVE SCIENCE Tobias, S. 1990 They’re not dumb, they’re different. climate, facts vs. concepts, what vs. why Hewitt, N. and Seymour, E. 1991. poor teaching, no support; weed-out mentality Malcolm, S. 1991 and other studies. atmosphere, discrimination, alienation, exclusiveness NOT THE ANSWER: lack of intelligence, personal problems, laziness, poor TAs

  7. The Greatest Fears…… • Are we losing better minds than we are retaining? • Are we losing “different” thinkers? • Are we losing the most curious students? • Are we reducing the diversity of scientists with our teaching methods and attitudes?

  8. Recommendations from AAASScience for All Americans reduce amount of material present science as social enterprise methods must be proven -- use inquiry; engage students place premium on curiosity/creativity educational reform must be comprehensive reform must be collaborative

  9. Recommendations from “From Analysis to Action” • Capture the spirit of “that thing we call science” in the classroom • Engage students in research • Recognize diverse cognitive styles • Train the next generation of teachers to teach using proven methods

  10. Proven Teaching Methods • Cooperative learning • Inquiry-based learning

  11. BRIEF HISTORY OF COOPERATIVE LEARNING Deutsch, M. 1949 Coop learning fosters: interdependence, achievement pressure higher productivity, more ideas Okebukola, P.A. 1984 1,025 9th graders Cooperative mode--intellectual achievement Competitive mode--practical lab skills Johnson, D.W. et al. 1981 -- 122 studies Cooperative = higher achievement higher order thinking Swisher, K. and others in the 1990s Cooperative learning = higher achievement Native Americans (Navajo, Cherokee) African Americans Female Americans

  12. Inquiry-based learning in biology Purposes involve students in scientific process students construct their own knowledge students shape agenda of the classroom build sense of shared purpose

  13. The Revolution in Science Education • Stages of revolution • Diversity and the revolution • The Summer Institute and the revolution

  14. Why diversity? • Moral imperative to educate broadly • Complexion of science should match the future workforce • Creativity is generated by diversity • Students receive a better education in diverse community Smith et al., 1997

  15. Types of diversity • Cognitive diversity • Ethnic and gender • cultural and experiential differences • prejudice and assumption

  16. Number of Groupdescribed species viruses 1,000 bacteria 4,760 fungi 46,983 plants 48,428 insects 751,000 birds 9,040 mammals 4,000 TOTAL 1,392,485 _______________________ NRC Report on Biological Diversity

  17. #1 Science Web Site Yahoo “Top Ten”

  18. Walking on water The simple water strider[12 Feb 1998] Vilifying a virile virus

  19. Comments on the Why Files…..from postdocs and graduate students in “Teaching Biology” • “edit the writing to make it sound like scientific language” • “cut the humor – science is serious” • “I hate The Why Files”

  20. Cognitive Diversity • Expand our notion of good science teaching • Expand our notion of who can be a scientist • Accept that our students are not us

  21. Types of diversity • Cognitive diversity • Ethnic and gender • cultural and experiential differences • prejudice and assumption

  22. Prejudices and AssumptionsA series of double blind experiments: • Calls for interviews based on ethnicity of name on resume Bertrand and Mullainathan, 2002 • Hiring and gender/race Dovidio & Gaertner, 2000 Olian et al., 1988) • Attribution of success to talent vs. luck and gender/attractiveness Deaux and Emswiller, 1974 • Rating job performance and gender Martell, 1991 In all experiments, gender of evaluator did not influence evaluation

  23. Accommodate diverse people and cognitive styles • Evaluate our own prejudices and assumptions about people and learning styles • Incorporate inquiry-based learning and cooperative learning into the college biology curriculum • Educate new teachers to use these teaching methods

  24. Summer Institute* • Model the principles of active learning and experimentation, provide “toolbox” and peer network * Proposed in BIO2010; pilot supported by NRC and HHMI

  25. Overview of workshop • Topics • Active learning in lectures/discussions • Active learning in laboratories • Interactive self-taught modules • Fostering systemic change • Format • Model teaching methods, participants design new applications • Brainstorming in groups

  26. Products from this workshop • Exchange of teaching methods • New applications of these methods • Evaluation of format and content • Ideas about generating systemic change

  27. You are our experiment • Is this the most effective format? • Have we chosen the most important topics? • Bring together the experts

  28. Experts in Innovative Pedagogy and Assessment Diane Ebert-May Liz Armstrong

  29. Creative Mavericks in Science Education Paul Williams (and Fast Plants) Bob Full (and friends)

  30. Creative Mavericks in Science Education Graham Walker Bob Goldberg Derrick Tabor Peter Bruns

  31. Humorists Jack Kampmeier Jim Gentile

  32. Humorists Jim Gentile (the real one) Jack Kampmeier …and his amazing jumping hamsters

  33. Interactive Technologies This is not John Jungck (but it’s from his web page) Richard Cyr Ron Hoy (He’s always evolving) Mike Klymkowski

  34. History Makers….. Daniel Klionsky National Science Foundation Distinguished Teaching Scholar

  35. Leaders in Reports on Science Education Diane Ebert-May Bob DeHaan Millard Susman Lillian Tong Kerry Brenner Bob Yuan Amy Chang

  36. Textbook Authors Robert Beichner David Nelson

  37. Review Panel(guinea pigs) Laura Knoll Francisco Pelegri Christopher Day