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Science education "grand challenges"
Science magazine presents a set of several articles on science education in its issue of 19 April 2013, "Grand Challenges in Science Education." Several will be of particular interest to science educators at Stanford:
- Editor-in-chief Bruce Alberts gives his own list of three grand challenges in his editorial "Prioritizing Science Education," the third of which is “Incorporate active science inquiry into all introductory college science classes.” Stanford Professor of Biology Martha Cyert recently gave a lecture on how she is doing this in her Biology courses.
- Jeffrey Mervis' piece on undergraduate education, "Transformation is Possible if a University Really Cares," features Nobel Prize-winning physicist Carl Wieman's work showing the value of active learning and deliberate practice (see Wieman's Science Education Initiative). The article describes how consultants called "teaching and learning fellows" have helped faculty articulate course goals and learning objectives, create clicker questions, and set up class activities to increase students learning. CTL offers similar services at Stanford.
- James W. Pellegrino reviews "Proficiency in Science: Assessment Challenges and Opportunities." He finds that assessment done well can "signify what we want students to know and be able to do and help educators create learning environments" to attain those goals. Assessment is a key part of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), which increasing numbers of Stanford faculty are practicing.