Education ForumScience Education

Changing the Culture of Science Education at Research Universities

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Science  14 Jan 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6014, pp. 152-153
DOI: 10.1126/science.1198280

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Professors have two primary charges: generate new knowledge and educate students. The reward systems at research universities heavily weight efforts of many professors toward research at the expense of teaching, particularly in disciplines supported extensively by extramural funding (1). Although education and lifelong learning skills are of utmost importance in our rapidly changing, technologically dependent world (2), teaching responsibilities in many STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines have long had the derogatory label “teaching load” (3, 4). Some institutions even award professors “teaching release” as an acknowledgment of their research accomplishments and success at raising outside research funds.