Present-day scientists grew up in an era where lectures on science were the standard for college teaching, and much of school science focused on learning the “facts” that science had discovered about the natural world. Extensive research in the past few decades has conclusively demonstrated that a more active form of science learning is much more effective in reaching most students. Changes in college science teaching must lead the way, if science education at all lower levels is to be redefined in effective ways. In addition, at the graduate school level, we need to more directly address the standards and values of science for scientists in training.
Graduate school example
- 2014 Classic Papers in Biology
Mini-course by Dr Alberts and Cynthia Kenyon at UCSF to teach standards of science.
Ongoing reforms in the teaching of introductory science teachings at the undergraduate level
- Science editorial: Redefining Science Education
- Reaching Students: What Research Says About Effective Instruction in Undergraduate Science and Engineering
Important resource for college science teachers explaining modern pedagogies by the Board on Science Education of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.
- Science in the Classroom
Science magazine resource of annotated research papers and accompanying teaching materials.
Teaching about cells to 12-year olds
Middle school biology textbooks present cells as boring objects, with lists of indecipherable names of cell parts to be memorized. Can we challenge ourselves to produce a hands-on curriculum unit for 12 year olds that convinces them that a living cell is the most amazing thing we know of in the universe? With science education as now defined, most kids this age instead end up viewing the cell as a boring box full of meaningless parts — with names like the endoplasmic reticulum that they are forced to memorize.