Education ForumScience Education

Anatomy of STEM teaching in North American universities

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  30 Mar 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6383, pp. 1468-1470
DOI: 10.1126/science.aap8892

eLetters is an online forum for ongoing peer review. Submission of eLetters are open to all. eLetters are not edited, proofread, or indexed.  Please read our Terms of Service before submitting your own eLetter.

Compose eLetter

Plain text

  • Plain text
    No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Author Information
First or given name, e.g. 'Peter'.
Your last, or family, name, e.g. 'MacMoody'.
Your email address, e.g.
Your role and/or occupation, e.g. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'.
Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. 'Royal Free Hospital'.
Statement of Competing Interests

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Enter the characters shown in the image.

Vertical Tabs

  • RE: Anatomy of STEM teaching in North American universities

    The discussion of the status of “STEM Teaching in North America” misses a crucial issue. As one who has avidly employed a variety of active learning approaches* in my chemistry courses (large and small, introductory and advanced, in amphitheater and mobile desk settings), I think that the greatest impediment is the textbooks. Irrespective of class size, classroom format, and level of material, I have only been able to dispense with lectures when the reading materials are of high quality and align well with my curriculum. To secure this, I have been fortunate in being able to obtain (appropriately qualified) permission to rearrange and annotate the textbooks that I have chosen. My point is that publishers need to be partners in reforming STEM teaching. Their textbooks are not only too expensive, but also too one-size-fits-all. With digital products, we should be able to serve our students better. At the very least, faculty should be able to rearrange the materials and annotate them.

    * Including: The “Question Formulation Technique” to prepare for assigned reading (; online discussion of assigned reading (; “Peer Instruction” for in-class deliberations (; and “Visual Thinking Strategies” for close examination of equations and f...

    Show More
    Competing Interests: None declared.