Policy ForumEducation

Scientific Teaching

Science  23 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5670, pp. 521-522
DOI: 10.1126/science.1096022

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For more than a decade, reports from expert panels have called for improvements in science education. There is general agreement that science courses consisting of traditional lectures and cookbook laboratory exercises need to be changed. What is required instead is "scientific teaching," teaching that mirrors science at its best-experimental, rigorous, and based on evidence. This Policy Forum explores the reasons for the slow pace of change in the way science is taught at research universities and offers recommendations for faculty, staff, and administrators at research universities, funding agencies, and professional organizations in order to accelerate the reform of science education. To help faculty initiate change in their own classrooms, this forum includes extensive resources to guide the transition to tested, effective instructional methods, which include group-learning in lectures, inquiry-based laboratories, and interactive computer modules.

  • †Present address: Division of Educational Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, 30322, USA.

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