NewsGrand Challenge: Undergraduate Teaching

Transformation Is Possible if a University Really Cares

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Science  19 Apr 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6130, pp. 292-296
DOI: 10.1126/science.340.6130.292

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The way that most research universities across North America teach science to undergraduates is worse than ineffective, says Carl Wieman. It's unscientific. A Nobel Prize–winning physicist turned science educator, Wieman doesn't understand why institutions of higher education would disregard decades of research showing the superiority of student-centered, active learning over the traditional 50-minute lecture. Wieman has spent the past 15 years applying the science of learning to how undergraduate science courses are taught, making impressive strides in changing how individual faculty members teach. Those changes have translated into big improvements in student learning.