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The Changing National Landscape of Science Education THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine.

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Presentation on theme: "The Changing National Landscape of Science Education THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Changing National Landscape of Science Education THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council Jay Labov National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Washington, DC jlabov@nas.edu http://nationalacademies.org Putting Scientific Teaching Into Practice ASCB Workshop, December 3, 2011

2 National Perspectives on Undergraduate Education in Biology Learning Goals Recognize 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 Premise 1: Improving Undergraduate Science Education is Not Rocket Science

4 Premise 1: Improving Undergraduate Science Education is Not Rocket Science Its a LOT harder!

5 A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be. Wayne Gretzky Premise 2:

6 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. www.visionandchange.org www.visionandchange.org

7 Recognize that you are not alone!

8 8 NRC Board on Life Sciences (2009). NRC Center for Education (2002) NRC Board on Life Sciences (2003 ) NRC Board On Science Education (2011)

9 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 10 National Research Council 2000 National Research Council 2003

11 11 A New Biology for the 21 st Century: Why Now? A moment of unique opportunity – Integration of subdisciplines within biologyIntegration of subdisciplines within biology Cross-discipline integration: life science research by physical, computational, earth scientists, engineersCross-discipline integration: life science research by physical, computational, earth scientists, engineers Technological advances enable biologists to collect data unprecedented in quantity and qualityTechnological advances enable biologists to collect data unprecedented in quantity and quality Past investments providing value beyond what was expectedPast investments providing value beyond what was expected

12 12 A New Biology for the 21 st 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 13 AP Redesign Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics (2012-16) Science Panels – Big Ideas / Unifying Themes – Enduring Understandings – Competencies – Evidence Models (Formative Assessments) Evidence of Learning The student can use representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems. The student can use mathematics appropriately The student can engage in scientific questioning The student can perform data analysis and evaluation of evidence The student can work with scientific explanations and theories The student is able to transfer knowledge across various scales, concepts, and representations in and across domains http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10129&page=R1

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. 14

15 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 Institute June, 2009 http://www.hhmi.org/grants/sffp.html

16 The redesigned AP curriculum focuses on merging content with the 21 st century skills needed for college and career The student is able to create a visual representation to describe how nervous systems transmit information. Transmission of information between neurons occurs across synapses. The student can create representations and models of natural phenomena and systems

17 Performance

18 ssessment ccountability

19 Intersection Between Education and Policy Increased emphasis on STEM education as an economic driver and the basis for maintaining international competitiveness Increased calls for accountability in higher education – National levels – State 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 Futurist

21 20 th Century21 st Century 1 – 2 Jobs10 – 15 Jobs Critical Thinking Across Disciplines Integration of 21 st Century Skills into Subject Matter Mastery Mastery of One Field Subject Matter Mastery Number of Jobs: Job Requirement: Teaching Model: Subject Matter Mastery Integration of 21 st Century Skills into Subject Matter Mastery Assessment Model: Why 21 st Century Skills? Shifting Job Market 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 A.I have examined national and my states standards for my discipline and have used that information in preparing for my introductory courses. B.Ive skimmed either the national or my states standards. C.I know that such standards exist but have not looked at them. D.There are actually standards for K-12 science?

24 24

25 Teacher Education and National Standards Not long ago, a college chemistry professor grew angry with the way her daughters high school chemistry class was being taught. She made an appointment to meet with the teacher and marched with righteous indignation into the classroomonly 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 transition Society is in transition Increasing need for both broadly educated, integrative biology professionals as well as biologically literate citizens Education must change to meet the potentials and demands of the new biology and to realize the promise of science to society in the future C. Brewer, U MT, 2/2010

27 Student-Centered Classrooms and Learning Outcomes Introduce scientific process early and integrate it throughout all undergraduate biology courses Research experiences should be an integral component of biology education for all students, regardless of major Active, outcome-oriented, inquiry-driven and relevant courses Define learning goals and align assessments to focus on conceptual understanding - use data to improve and enhance learning Ignite the passion for learning in our students C. Brewer, U MT, 2/2010

28 28 Engage us Challenge us Help us develop critical thinking, analytical and communication skills Provide opportunities for research experiences and/or designing our own experiments Use analogies, NOT jargon Make learning relevant Give us ownership of our learning Infect us with your enthusiasm about the natural world Make your learning goals transparent to us Frederico Unglaub, Student, Universityersity of Colorado And Most Importantly: What Students Said… … Tie what were 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 were learning in other classes? …. C. Brewer, U MT, 2/2010

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 everyones highest priorities, truly a cultural change on many campuses. C. Brewer, U MT, 2/2010


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