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Scientific Teaching Jo Handelsman Sarah Miller Christine Pfund Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

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Presentation on theme: "Scientific Teaching Jo Handelsman Sarah Miller Christine Pfund Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scientific Teaching Jo Handelsman Sarah Miller Christine Pfund Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professors Program

2 Todays Agenda What is scientific teaching? Why do we need scientific teaching? Scientific teaching in the classroom: –Active learning –Assessment –Diversity Scientific teaching in the research lab –mentoring

3 the classroom should reflect the process of science the classroom should capture the rigor, iterative nature, and spirit of discovery of science at its best the content should be scientific the classroom should include all students Scientific Teaching Handelsman et al., 2004 Science 304:521-522.

4 Reasons For Change Students not learning the content of science Students not learning the true nature of science Students leaving science

5 Sobering Facts Widespread scientific illiteracy Inability of science students to engage in conceptual & analytical thinking Poor retention (10-20% lecture content) Exit of students from college science (biology majors ~60%) Greater loss of certain ethnic minorities

6 Recommendations from Science for All Americans From Analysis to Action Bio2010 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 Convert passive to active

7 History of Active Learning Plato John Dewey – students are not empty vessels to be filled…. David Ausubel – constructivism –learning is a process of adjusting our models to accommodate new information –knowledge is constructed, not absorbed

8 Active learning in the classroom Students contribute and act –Students solve problems –Student think, discuss, and question Inquiry-based learning –Students ask questions and answer them –Students engage in the process of science Assessment - Determine whether students are learning - Provide opportunities for students to assess their own learning Cooperative/group learning –Students work in groups –Teacher is facilitator

9 Research on 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

10 Examples of Active Learning Think-pair-share (in lecture) Notecards (in lecture) Clickers (in lecture) Case studies (in lecture/discussion/lab) Experiments (in lecture or lab) What would you like know about…..? How would you…..? Why do you think…..?

11 Figure 2. Mean change scores on spring 1993 concept test, by question. Error bars represent one standard error (*p 0.05).

12 From: Teaching More by Lecturing Less Jennifer K. Knight and William B. Wood Cell Biol Educ 4(4): 298-310 2005 With clickers Learning gains increased 9% Increase greatest for best students Increase greater for women than men

13 Examples of Active Learning Think-pair-share (in lecture) Notecards (in lecture) Clickers (in lecture) Case studies (in lecture/discussion/lab) Experiments (in lecture or lab) What would you like know about…..? How would you…..? Why do you think…..?

14 12-Minute Active Learning in Lecture Topics Parts of the cell Nucleic acid structure Gene regulation Hormone action Active Learning Strategies Question Hypothesis Experimental design Interpretation of data Develop an analogy Paradox Political dilemma

15 Active Learning Stimulates curiosity Helps students construct their own knowledge Improves understanding Enhances retention of content

16 Todays Agenda What is scientific teaching? Why do we need scientific teaching? Scientific teaching in the classroom: –Active learning –Assessment –Diversity Scientific teaching in the research lab –mentoring

17 Why Assessment? Apply the rigor of science – ask questions rather than make assumptions Enable students to monitor their own learning Enable instructor to monitor student progress Integrate into every class session

18 A Tiny World

19 What does A Tiny World tell us about student understanding and attitudes? How might this guide our assessment of student learning?

20 Principles of Assessment Use it often (dont wait for exams) Varied techniques Application of knowledge to problems Students need to use language

21 Examples of Active Learning Think-pair-share (in lecture) Notecards (in lecture) Clickers (in lecture) Case studies (in lecture/discussion/lab) Experiments (in lecture or lab) What would you like know about…..? How would you…..? Why do you think…..?

22 Todays Agenda What is scientific teaching? Why do we need scientific teaching? Scientific teaching in the classroom: –Active learning –Assessment –Diversity Scientific teaching in the research lab –mentoring

23 the classroom should reflect the process of science the classroom should capture the rigor, iterative nature, and spirit of discovery of science at its best the content should be scientific the classroom should include all students Scientific Teaching Handelsman et al., 2004 Science 304:521-522.

24 Why do students leave science? Tobias, S. 1990 Theyre not dumb, theyre 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

25 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 reducing the quality of education?

26 Human diversity leads to….. Better academic experience (Milem, 2001) More feasible and effective solutions to problems (Cox, 1993; McLeod, 1996) Better, more defensible decisions (Nemeth, 1985; 1995) More innovation in teams (Kanter, 1983) Best teams in science and theater (Science, 2005)

27 What do we need to know to diversify the scientific community?

28 Diversity Cognitive Style Learning Style Gender, Race, and Style Prejudice and Bias in the Classroom

29

30 Cognitive and Learning Styles Cognitive style Process of thinking, perceiving, and remembering (McFadden, 1986)

31 Cognitive Styles Riding and Cheema (1991) Wholists see information in a whole and have a better understanding of the big picture. They have difficulty breaking down elements into small, distinct parts. Diagrams with some text are helpful in demonstrating the whole picture to this learner. Analytics can break down information well into distinct parts, but have difficulty understanding the big picture. These learners like to see things broken down over a number of screens or pages and then may follow up with the whole unit. Verbalizers prefer to have information presented as words or verbal associations. The learner can easily create mental images of the material being presented, therefore they are comfortable with heavy text or verbal presentations. They may prefer to be presented with main points of the process. Imagers see things in the form of pictures and prefer material to be presented in vivid context. Unfamiliar terms should be descriptive and illustrated.

32 Cognitive and Learning Styles Cognitive style Process of thinking, perceiving, and remembering (McFadden, 1986) Learning Style Preferred way to learn (Gregorc, 1979) Behaviors associated with learning (Kocinski, 1984)

33 Learning Styles – Multiple Intelligences Body/kinesthetic Interpersonal/intra- personal Logical/mathematical Musical/rhythmic Verbal/linguistic Visual/spatial Seven Ways of Knowing: Teaching for Multiple Intelligences by David Lazear. 1991.

34 Social Learning Style Competitive vs. cooperative Group vs. individual Spotlight vs. blending into team

35 Gender, Race, and Learning Style Compared with white men, women and minorities more often prefer: Cooperative settings to competitive ones Relevance to the human experience Avoiding showing up others or being the star

36 http://www.berghuis.co.nz/abiator/lsi/lsiframe.html http://www.ncsu.edu/felder-public/ILSpage.html

37 Diversity in the Classroom Cognitive styles Learning styles Unconscious bias Do we treat all of our students the same?

38 What does the research say about bias and prejudice? Blind, randomized trials Real life studies

39 Blind, randomized trials Give each group of evaluators pictures, words, or applications with a racial or gender indicator Compare evaluations Isolate gender or ethnicity as sole variable

40 Research on Bias When shown photographs of people who are the same height, evaluators overestimated the heights of male subjects and underestimated the heights of female subjects. When shown photographs of men with similar athletic ability, evaluators rated the athletic ability of African American men higher than that of white men. When asked to rate the quality of verbal skills indicated by a short text, evaluators rated the skills as lower if they were told an African American wrote the text than if a they were told a white person wrote it, and gave lower ratings when told a woman wrote it than when told a man wrote it. Biernat et al., 1991; Biernat and Manis, 1995

41 Hiring Have evaluators review credentials of job applicant Substantially more likely to hire the person if there is a mans name on application More likely to hire if a masculine scent put on the materials

42 Research on Bias Meta-analysis of studies of hiring Aggregate of 1,842 subjects over 19 studies Applications assigned male or female name Reviewers hired male candidates more often (Olian et al., 1988) Review of description of job performance Rated the same job performance lower if told it was performed by a woman (Dovidio and Gaertner, 2000) Difference was substantially greater when evaluator was busy or distracted (Martell, 1991)

43 Research on Bias In every study, significant effect of gender or race of person evaluated NO significant effect of gender or race of person doing the evaluation

44 What does the research say? Blind, randomized trials Real life studies

45 Research on Bias Auditions for symphony orchestra positions Started using a screen, carpeting to hide gender of person auditioning Resulted in as much as a 60% increase in frequency of women being selected Goldin and Rouse, 1997

46 Swedish Postdoc Fellowship Study Compared competency rating with publication impact rating

47 Swedish Postdoc Fellowship Study Wenneras and Wold, 1997. Nature 387:341.

48 Research on Bias Postdoc fellowships panel Women needed substantially more publication power (the equivalent of 3 more papers in Nature or Science or 20 more papers in specialty journals such as Infection and Immunity or Neuroscience) to achieve the same rating as men unless they knew someone on the panel personally Wenneras, Christine and Agnes Wold. "Nepotism and Sexism in Peer- Review." Nature (May 1997).

49 Research on Bias CVs of real woman assigned a male or female name, randomly, and sent to 238 academic psychologists –CV at time of job application –CV at time of early tenure decision Respondents more likely to hire if male name Gender of applicant had no effect on respondents likelihood of granting tenure Steinpreis et al., 1999

50 Research on Bias There were cautionary comments in margins of tenure package four times more often on those with womans name: We would have to see her job talk. It is impossible to make such a judgment without teaching evaluations. I would need to see evidence that she had gotten those grants and publications on her own. Steinpreis et al., 1999

51 What could minimize the effects of bias? Hold ourselves accountable Discuss bias with colleagues, TAs, graders Instruct not to be biased Integrate images of women and minorities Diversify teaching methods

52 Diversity Cognitive Style Learning Style Gender, Race, and Style Prejudice and Bias in the Classroom

53 Scientific Teaching An comprehensive strategy

54 Themes of Scientific Teaching Active learning Assessment Diversity

55 Backward Design Identify learning goals and outcomes Plan assessment of learning Plan class content and activities Align goals, assessment and content Realign, adjust, ensure diversity Wiggins and McTighe Modified by Miller and Handelsman

56

57 Mentoring

58 Can mentoring be taught? Can you teach someone to be a doctor or a scientist? Can you teach someone to write? Can you teach someone to teach? Each of these skills is a combination of passion, intuition, experience, and knowledge.

59 The Wisconsin Mentoring Seminar Eight-week seminar Optimized for people currently mentoring undergraduate researchers Combination of reading, writing, discussion

60 labmgmt@hhmi.org

61 Mentoring Topics Getting Started Learning to Communicate Goals and Expectations Identifying Challenges and Issues Resolving Challenges and Issues Evaluating Our Progress Elements of Good Mentoring Mentoring Philosophy

62 Teaching Tools Reading Short writing assignments Discussion of case studies Discussion of mentors situations Assigned activities –interview mentee –determine whether your mentee understands you –discuss mentoring challenge with advisor

63 Case Study A case about trust

64 Case Study A graduate student mentor was frustrated because her student was not running successful experiments. While the undergraduate had great enthusiasm for the project, each experiment failed because of some sloppy errorforgetting to pH the gel buffer, forgetting to add a reagent to a reaction, or forgetting to turn down the voltage on a gel box. After a month of discussions, and careful attempts to teach the student habits that would compensate for his forgetfulness, the graduate student was ready to give up. She spoke with her adviser and asked for advice, hoping that she could fix the problem and start getting useful data from her undergraduate. The adviser offered to work with the undergraduate mentee. When the undergraduate walked into his office, the faculty member said, I hear youre a slob in the lab. You gotta clean up your act if were going to get any data out of you. Seeing the crushed and humiliated look on the undergraduates face, he quickly added, Im a slob toothats why Im in here pushing papers around and not in the lab doing the hard stuff like you guys!

65 Why should you teach this seminar? Become a better mentor Teach your advisor to be a better mentor Help the faculty in your department be more appreciated by their graduate students Get fabulous teaching evaluations!!! Have FUN


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