Education ForumPROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Summer Institute to Improve University Science Teaching

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Science  24 Apr 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5926, pp. 470-471
DOI: 10.1126/science.1170015

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Summary

Introductory science courses at large universities in the United States serve as the portals that connect undergraduates to frontiers in research and scientific ways of thinking (13). According to the National Research Council report, BIO2010 (4), however, teaching practices have not changed in correspondence with advances in scientific research. Consequently, the gateway through which most students pass is antiquated and misrepresents the interdisciplinary, collaborative, evidence-based culture of science. To provide faculty with the knowledge and skills they need to improve undergraduate teaching, BIO2010 recommended an annual summer institute for biology faculty devoted to teaching and learning. Here, we report the design of such an institute and its impact on participants' teaching practices, challenges faced when they returned to their institutions, and how they disseminated institute practices.

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