News of the WeekScience Education

Universities Begin to Rethink First-Year Biology Courses

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Science  31 Jul 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5940, pp. 527
DOI: 10.1126/science.325_527a

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Summary

This month, 500 researchers, educators, and policymakers met in Washington, D.C., at a conference sponsored by the National Science Foundation and AAAS (which publishes Science) to assess how far they have come in their efforts to improve undergraduate introductory biology courses, which are seen as a critical step toward raising the nation's scientific literacy. The consensus: There's still a long way to go. Correcting the problem, speakers agreed, will require changing a deep-rooted academic culture that values research over teaching and makes little provision for doing a good job in the classroom.