1887

Promoting Science for All by Way of Student Interest in a Transformative Undergraduate Microbiology Laboratory for Nonmajors

    Authors: Gili Marbach-Ad1,*, J. Randy McGinnis2, Amy H. Dai2, Rebecca Pease2, Kelly A. Schalk2, Spencer Benson1
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    Affiliations: 1: College of Chemical and Life Sciences and; 2: Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 17 May 2009
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: College of Chemical and Life Sciences, University of Maryland, 1328 Symons Hall, College Park, MD 20742. Phone: (301) 405-2075. Fax: (301) 405-1655. E-mail: gilim@umd.edu.
    • Copyright © 2009, American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2009 vol. 10 no. 1 58-67. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v10.100
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    Abstract:

    In this study, we investigated a pedagogical innovation in an undergraduate microbiology course, Microbes and Society, for non-microbiology majors and education majors. The aim was to improve students’ understanding by connecting their science experience to their areas of interest. Based on this idea of teaching, we redesigned the laboratory portion of a microbiology course. We had students in the laboratory component choose their areas of interest and use the areas as a framework for understanding science and how it influences and shapes the world around them. This course was part of a longitudinal project (Project Nexus) which prepares, supports, and sustains upper elementary and middle-level specialist science teachers. We used a battery of data collection instruments. We analyzed all data in several dimensions including using active-learning techniques, forming linkages between science and teaching, and connecting science and society. Our hypothesis was that we could promote science for all by connecting the diverse students’ areas of interest in science to the laboratory’s curriculum. We assessed the success of achieving our goal by using researchers’ observations, the instructors’ perspectives, and students’ feedback. Our findings suggested that this course was appreciated by the students, especially education majors, who recognized the innovations as engaging and worthwhile.

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References & Citations

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2. Aikenhead GS, Ryan GR1992The development of a new instrument: “views on science-technology-society” (VOSTS)Sci Educ7647749110.1002/sce.3730760503 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/sce.3730760503
3. Backhus DA, Thompson KW2006Addressing the nature of science in preservice science teachers preparation programs: science education perceptionsJ Sci Teach Educ17658110.1007/s10972-006-9012-9 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10972-006-9012-9
4. Bybee R1997Achieving scientific literacyHeinemannPortsmouth, NH
5. Byrne M, Johnstone A1988How to make science relevant?School Sci Rev704345
6. Cuevas P, Lee O, Hart J, Deaktor R2005Improving science inquiry with elementary students of diverse backgroundsRes Sci Teach4233735710.1002/tea.20053 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.20053
7. Fensham PJ1985Science for allJ Curriculum1741543510.1080/0022027850170407 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0022027850170407
8. Kitchen E, Reeve S, Bell JD, Sudweeks RR, Bradshaw WS2007The development and application of affective assessment in an upper-level cell biology courseRes Sci Teach441057108710.1002/tea.20188 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.20188
9. Lee O, Hart J, Cuevas P, Enders C2004Professional development in inquiry based science for elementary teachers of diverse student groupsRes Sci Teach411021104310.1002/tea.20037 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.20037
10. Mamlok-Naaman R, Hofstein A, Penick JE2007Involving science teachers in the development and implementation of assessment tools for “science for all” type curriculaJ Sci Teach Educ1849752410.1007/s10972-007-9046-7 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10972-007-9046-7
11. Marienau C, Fiddler M2002Bringing student experiences to the learning processAbout CampusNovember–December1319
12. McGinnis JR, Kramer S, Shama G, Graeber A, Parker C, Watanabe T2002Undergraduates’ attitudes and beliefs of subject matter and pedagogy measured longitudinally in a reform-based mathematics and science teacher preparation programJ Res Sci Teach3971373710.1002/tea.10042 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.10042
13. National Research Council2007Taking science to schoolNational Academies PressWashington, DC
14. Potter NM, Overton TL2006Chemistry in sports: content-based e-learning in chemistryChem Educ Res Pract719520210.1039/b6rp90008a http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/b6rp90008a
15. Ryan GW, Bernard HR2000Data management and analysis methods769802 Denzin NK, Lincoln YSThe Sage handbook of qualitative research2nd edSage PublicationsThousand Oaks, CA
16. Sadler TD, Amirshokoohi A, Kazempour M, Allspaw KM2006Socioscience and ethics in science classrooms: teacher perspectives and strategiesJ Res Sci Teach4335337610.1002/tea.20142 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.20142
17. Schiefele U, Krapp A, Winteler A1992Interest as a predictor of academic achievement: a meta-analysis of research183212 Renninger KA, Hidi S, Krapp AThe role of interest in learning and developmentErlbaumHillsdale, NJ
18. Suinn RM1999Teaching culturally diverse students151171 McKeachie WJTeaching tips: strategies, research, and theory for college and university teachersHoughton MifflinNew York, NY
19. Tobin K, Capie W, Bettencourt A1988Active learning for higher cognitive learning in scienceInt J Sci Educ10172710.1080/0950069880100103 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0950069880100103
20. Vance-Chalcraft H, Bunnell A, Enderle P, Fewell M, Crenshaw T2007Re-thinking university non-majors science education: curriculum revision for large, multiple instructor biology classesA paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Science Teacher EducationClearwater Beach, FL
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2009-05-17
2017-09-22

Abstract:

In this study, we investigated a pedagogical innovation in an undergraduate microbiology course, Microbes and Society, for non-microbiology majors and education majors. The aim was to improve students’ understanding by connecting their science experience to their areas of interest. Based on this idea of teaching, we redesigned the laboratory portion of a microbiology course. We had students in the laboratory component choose their areas of interest and use the areas as a framework for understanding science and how it influences and shapes the world around them. This course was part of a longitudinal project (Project Nexus) which prepares, supports, and sustains upper elementary and middle-level specialist science teachers. We used a battery of data collection instruments. We analyzed all data in several dimensions including using active-learning techniques, forming linkages between science and teaching, and connecting science and society. Our hypothesis was that we could promote science for all by connecting the diverse students’ areas of interest in science to the laboratory’s curriculum. We assessed the success of achieving our goal by using researchers’ observations, the instructors’ perspectives, and students’ feedback. Our findings suggested that this course was appreciated by the students, especially education majors, who recognized the innovations as engaging and worthwhile.

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FIG. 1

Template for individual project instrument part 1—the research.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2009 vol. 10 no. 1 58-67. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v10.100
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FIG. 2

Individual project instrument part 2—the 5E model for teaching science.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2009 vol. 10 no. 1 58-67. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v10.100
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FIG. 3

Student background information (self reported, = 24).

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2009 vol. 10 no. 1 58-67. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v10.100
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FIG. 4

Students’ responses to the 15 VOSTS questions.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2009 vol. 10 no. 1 58-67. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v10.100
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FIG. 5

Frequencies of students’ responses to the VOSTS question about science and technology.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2009 vol. 10 no. 1 58-67. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v10.100
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FIG. 6

Frequencies of students’ responses to the VOSTS question about nature of scientific knowledge.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2009 vol. 10 no. 1 58-67. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v10.100
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