Reinventing Myself as a Professor:

The Catalytic Role of SENCER

Terry R. McGuire - Rutgers University (About the author)

July 2005


I agreed to write this SENCER Backgrounder to describe the types of things that I have done at Rutgers University in bringing SENCER ideals to courses for majors in Genetics and Life Sciences. This paper is most decidedly not a "how-to" narrative. My progress toward changing the curriculum should be viewed as a type of "Drunkard's walk." That is, although the averaged path might make a statistically straight line, the actually path veers right and left with (at times) very little forward progress. In order to understand what I am trying to accomplish, I am inviting you to take a journey through my own career as a teacher, scientist and a student.

From the Paper's Opening

Topics of Interest to the SENCER Community

Provides a first-hand account of the changes made by the author in teaching

- How changes resulted in significant student learning gains
- How changes increased the author's enjoyment of teaching and fundamentally changed his attitude toward students

Discusses how using SENCER principles like current events, ongoing assessment of student learning and active learning increased student and professor engagement

Focuses on the author's personal experiences with the nature of motivation in student learning and each students' potential to succeed.

Practical suggestions for beginning the SENCERize science courses

Full Report

Reinventing Myself as a Professor (Acrobat (PDF) 225kB Aug5 08)