- About PKAL
Team Members: Marty Condon, Craig Teague
1. Briefly list the most significant issues in science education facing you and your institution
a. appreciation of the scientific literature (i.e., science is not done in a vacuum) & must learn how to read and evaluate the literature
b. increasing need for quantitative skills (modelling, statistics, computers) and interdisciplinary collaboration
c. biochemistry and molecular biology students need to understand modern evolutionary biology (i.e., an intro biology course is inadequate)
d. In a general sense, I worry about striking the right balance between the content-driven nature of science and the need for students to understand the process and inherent flexibility of science. There is a lot of content to cover--how do we decide what to leave out or what to emphasize in depth? Are we focusing enough on process? It seems like these questions are even more important on the block plan.
e. Our students need more and more time with chemical instrumentation, both because that is important in and of itself but also because graduate schools and employers expect this. Are we providing enough hands-on time with instruments?
f. Are we serving those students who are not graduate-school bound as well as those who are?
g. Student/faculty research--should it be required of all science majors? If so, what impact does this have on staffing and teaching loads?
2. Which of these problems do you think would lend themselves to collaborative efforts at solution?
All of the above, but collaboration is critical for b and c.
Discussions about all would be beneficial; collaboration on writing or sharing classroom or lab activities might be the most fruitful avenue for collaboration beyond discussion.
3. Are there any other issues that you seek collaboration among your ACM colleagues?
I would love to see examples of successful approaches (i.e., approaches that work) and I would like to see how others define (and measure) success. Which goals are defined? How is "success" evaluated?
I have been using Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) techniques more in recent years. I would like to discuss POGIL with others who are using or who are interested in using these techniques.