Presentation on theme: "The Changing National Landscape of Science Education"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Changing National Landscape of Science Education THE NATIONAL ACADEMIESNational Academy of SciencesNational Academy of EngineeringInstitute of MedicineNational Research CouncilJay LabovWashington, DCPutting Scientific Teaching Into PracticeASCB Workshop, December 3, 2011
2 National Perspectives on Undergraduate Education in Biology Learning GoalsRecognize that you are not alone!Become familiar with recent national reports on the improvement of undergraduate education in biology and STEM more generally.Briefly explore the intersection between education and policy.Appreciate the influence of K-12 education on what you do and your role in influencing K-12 education.
3 Improving Undergraduate Science Education is Not Rocket Science Premise 1:Improving Undergraduate Science Education is Not Rocket Science
4 Improving Undergraduate Science Education is Not Rocket Science Premise 1:Improving Undergraduate Science Education is Not Rocket ScienceIt’s a LOT harder!
5 Premise 2: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”Wayne Gretzky
6 Given the radical changes in the nature of the science of biology and what we have learned about effective ways to teach, this is an opportune time to address the biology we teach so that it better represents the biology we do.– Transforming Undergraduate Education in Biology: Mobilizing the Community for Change, Vision and Change in Undergraduate Education.
8 NRC Center for Education (2002) NRC Board on Life Sciences (2003) NRC Board On Science Education (2011)NRC Board On Science Education (2011)
9 American Association for the Advancement of Science & National Science Foundation(2011)Association of American Medical Colleges &Howard Hughes Medical Institute(2009)College Board (2011)
10 National Research Council 2000 National Research Council 2003
11 A New Biology for the 21st Century: Why Now? A moment of unique opportunity –Integration of subdisciplines within biologyCross-discipline integration: life science research by physical, computational, earth scientists, engineersTechnological advances enable biologists to collect data unprecedented in quantity and qualityPast investments providing value beyond what was expected
12 A New Biology for the 21st Century: Implications for Science Education The New Biology Initiative provides an opportunity to attract students to science who want to solve real-world problems.The New Biologist is not a scientist who knows a little bit about all disciplines, but a scientist with deep knowledge in one discipline and a “working fluency” in several.Highly developed quantitative skills will be increasingly important.Development and implementation of genuinely interdisciplinary undergraduate courses and curricula will both prepare students for careers as New Biology researchers and educate a new generation of science teachers well versed in New Biology approaches. (p. 89)
13 AP Redesign Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics (2012-16) Evidence of LearningThe student can use representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems.The student can use mathematics appropriatelyThe student can engage in scientific questioningThe student can perform data analysis and evaluation of evidenceThe student can work with scientific explanations and theoriesThe student is able to transfer knowledge across various scales, concepts, and representations in and across domainsScience PanelsBig Ideas / Unifying ThemesEnduring UnderstandingsCompetenciesEvidence Models (Formative Assessments)
14 Similarities in Thinking: AP Biology Redesign (2011):The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce and to maintain dynamic homeostasis.Living systems store, retrieve, transmit and respond to information essential to life processes.Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties.Vision and Change (2011)The diversity of life evolved over time by processes of mutation, selection, and genetic change.Basic units of structure define the function of all living things.The growth and behavior of organisms are activated through the expression of genetic information in context.Biological systems grow and change by processes based upon chemical transformation pathways and are governed by the laws of thermodynamics.Living systems are interconnected and interacting.
15 AAMC/HHMI Committee Defines Scientific Competencies for Future Physicians Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians recommends that medical and premedical education evolve from a static listing of courses to a dynamic set of competencies…This … will encourage the development of innovative and interdisciplinary science curricula, maintain scientific rigor, and allow premed students at the undergraduate level the flexibility to pursue a strong liberal arts education.Association of American Medial Colleges & Howard Hughes Medical InstituteJune, 2009
16 The redesigned AP curriculum focuses on merging content with the 21st century skills needed for college and careerTransmission of information between neurons occurs across synapses.ContentSkillLearning Objective+The student can create representations and models of natural phenomena and systemsTanya (9/26): ETS Item #VE511130…Must talk to ETS about embedding chart and cladogram into the next slide. I can’t figure out how to do it. I only placed the text of the question in the slideTalking Points: Gordon should show the connection between the Essential knowledge component, science practice and how they come together to form the learning objective …the related exam question is on the next slide.The student is able to create a visual representation to describe how nervous systems transmit information.
19 Intersection Between Education and Policy Increased emphasis on STEM education as an economic driver and the basis for maintaining international competitivenessIncreased calls for accountability in higher educationNational levelsState Levels
20 Science Education and Our Economic Future “If I take the revenue in January and look again in December of that year, 90% of my December revenue comes from products which were not there in January.”Craig Barrett, Chairman of Intel“Rising Above the Gathering Storm” (NAS, NAE, and IOM, 2007)"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." Alvin Toffler, American Writer and Futurist20
21 Critical Thinking Across Disciplines Why 21st Century Skills?Shifting Job Market20th Century21st Century1 – 2 Jobs10 – 15 JobsNumber ofJobs:Mastery ofOne FieldCritical Thinking Across DisciplinesJobRequirement:SubjectMatterMasteryIntegration of 21stCentury Skills intoSubject MatterMasteryTeachingModel:21st Century Jobs Require 21st Century SkillsSubjectMatterMasteryIntegration of 21stCentury Skills intoSubject MatterMasteryAssessmentModel:Courtesy of Linda Froschauer
22 Appreciate the influence of K-12 education on what you do and your role in influencing K-12 education
23 My Knowledge of K-12 Science Standards I have examined national and my state’s standards for my discipline and have used that information in preparing for my introductory courses.I’ve skimmed either the national or my state’s standards.I know that such standards exist but have not looked at them.There are actually standards for K-12 science?
25 Teacher Education and National Standards “Not long ago, a college chemistry professor grew angry with the way her daughter’s high school chemistry class was being taught. She made an appointment to meet with the teacher and marched with righteous indignation into the classroom—only to discover that the teacher was one of her former students.” National Research Council (1998)
26 WHY CHANGE? WHY NOW? Biology is in transition Science education is in transitionSociety is in transitionIncreasing need for both broadly educated, integrative biology professionals as well as biologically literate citizensEducation must change to meet the potentials and demands of the new biology and to realize the promise of science to society in the futureSO WHY CHANGE AND WHY NOW? The 21st century will be the century of biology – we are in the midst of a revolution in what we understand about life on earth, and in the tools we use to gain this understanding. And there are urgent challenges facing society that intersect with the life sciences and that are well described in the new NRC report – A New Biology for the 21st Century.The last century has not only given us new tools and knowledge in the biological sciences – writ large. It has also given us new tools and insights about how people learn. It’s time to make sure our biology courses and curricula reflect the best of what our science has to offer, and that they reflect the best of what we know about how to connect teaching with learning.What Stands in the Way? Perhaps the answer lies in how our disciplines are defined and our institutions of higher education are organized.Biology is a rather fragmented discipline with ever more subspecialties emerging every decade since the early 1900’s. Adding to this fragmentation is the fact that biologists do not come together regularly under the umbrella of one professional organization. We meet as molecular biologists or ecologists, or as microbiologists or physiologists in our professional home societies, but rarely do we come together with a common purpose at life scientists.And the way people pursue higher education is changing too – with more and more people starting in two-year colleges and pursuing some of their training with distance education methods. These students expect their education to be relevant and relate to real life. And the future research enterprise depends on them having a disposition for and experience in collaborating on interdisciplinary problems. These are all challenges for higher education in the coming years.With this backdrop, it really is astounding that the vision and change initiative brought 100’s of life scientists came together who represented a broad array of subdisciplines and types of institutions. And their singular focus was on what is needed to foster biological literacy and to prepare the next generation of life scientists and citizens.C. Brewer, U MT, 2/2010
27 Student-Centered Classrooms and Learning Outcomes Introduce scientific process early and integrate it throughout all undergraduate biology coursesResearch experiences should be an integral component of biology education for all students, regardless of majorActive, outcome-oriented, inquiry-driven and relevant coursesDefine learning goals and align assessments to focus on conceptual understanding - use data to improve and enhance learningIgnite the passion for learning in our studentsSO WHAT ABOUT STUDENT – CENTERED CLASSROOMS and learning outcomes? We have made patchy progress on campuses to make courses more student-centered and to better link teaching with learning outcomes. And there is still much work to do in this arena. A clear message is that we need to do a better job of linking our teaching to student learning though carefully considered assessment. We are researchers after all – we have an opportunity to use classroom research methods and data to improve and enhance learning. Making this linkage is key to igniting a passion for learning biology in all of our students.C. Brewer, U MT, 2/2010
28 And Most Importantly: What Students Said… Engage usChallenge usHelp us develop critical thinking, analytical and communication skillsProvide opportunities for research experiences and/or designing our own experimentsUse analogies, NOT jargonMake learning relevantGive us ownership of our learningInfect us with your enthusiasm about the natural worldMake your learning goals transparent to usFrederico Unglaub, Student, Universityersity of ColoradoAmong the many voices represented are those of students. The students at the meeting had a lot to say about their education. They want to be challenged, and to learn how to think and communicate. They want real research experiences. And they want what they are learning to be relevant and connected to real life. And the action items listed in the report reflect their perspective.… Tie what we’re learning into the Big Picture. Why is this important? Where did this come from (i.e., original literature)? Where does it fit in real life? And how does this relate to what we’re learning in other classes? ….C. Brewer, U MT, 2/201028
29 In a great irony, the academy itself may be the last obstacle to improving the quality of biology education for all students. Thus, raising the profile of science education within biology departments and ensuring that the academic culture values both faculty teaching and student learning should be everyone’s highest priorities, truly a cultural change on many campuses.Truly a profound cultural change is needed to improve biology education on many campuses around the country. A clear message from the conference is that it is high time for institutions to walk the talk of valuing teaching and raising the profile of education within science departments. It is in the interest of the students, the departments, the campus, and the future of the academy.C. Brewer, U MT, 2/2010