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
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    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: [email protected].
    • 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

1. Aikenhead GS, Fleming RW, Ryan AG 1987 High-school graduates’ beliefs about science-technology society, I: methods and issues in monitoring student views Sci Educ 71 145 161 10.1002/sce.3730710203 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/sce.3730710203
2. Aikenhead GS, Ryan GR 1992 The development of a new instrument: “views on science-technology-society” (VOSTS) Sci Educ 76 477 491 10.1002/sce.3730760503 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/sce.3730760503
3. Backhus DA, Thompson KW 2006 Addressing the nature of science in preservice science teachers preparation programs: science education perceptions J Sci Teach Educ 17 65 81 10.1007/s10972-006-9012-9 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10972-006-9012-9
4. Bybee R 1997 Achieving scientific literacy Heinemann Portsmouth, NH
5. Byrne M, Johnstone A 1988 How to make science relevant? School Sci Rev 70 43 45
6. Cuevas P, Lee O, Hart J, Deaktor R 2005 Improving science inquiry with elementary students of diverse backgrounds Res Sci Teach 42 337 357 10.1002/tea.20053 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.20053
7. Fensham PJ 1985 Science for all J Curriculum 17 415 435 10.1080/0022027850170407 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0022027850170407
8. Kitchen E, Reeve S, Bell JD, Sudweeks RR, Bradshaw WS 2007 The development and application of affective assessment in an upper-level cell biology course Res Sci Teach 44 1057 1087 10.1002/tea.20188 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.20188
9. Lee O, Hart J, Cuevas P, Enders C 2004 Professional development in inquiry based science for elementary teachers of diverse student groups Res Sci Teach 41 1021 1043 10.1002/tea.20037 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.20037
10. Mamlok-Naaman R, Hofstein A, Penick JE 2007 Involving science teachers in the development and implementation of assessment tools for “science for all” type curricula J Sci Teach Educ 18 497 524 10.1007/s10972-007-9046-7 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10972-007-9046-7
11. Marienau C, Fiddler M 2002 Bringing student experiences to the learning process About Campus November–December 13 19
12. McGinnis JR, Kramer S, Shama G, Graeber A, Parker C, Watanabe T 2002 Undergraduates’ attitudes and beliefs of subject matter and pedagogy measured longitudinally in a reform-based mathematics and science teacher preparation program J Res Sci Teach 39 713 737 10.1002/tea.10042 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.10042
13. National Research Council 2007 Taking science to school National Academies Press Washington, DC
14. Potter NM, Overton TL 2006 Chemistry in sports: content-based e-learning in chemistry Chem Educ Res Pract 7 195 202 10.1039/b6rp90008a http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/b6rp90008a
15. Ryan GW, Bernard HR 2000 Data management and analysis methods 769 802 Denzin NK, Lincoln YS The Sage handbook of qualitative research 2nd ed Sage Publications Thousand Oaks, CA
16. Sadler TD, Amirshokoohi A, Kazempour M, Allspaw KM 2006 Socioscience and ethics in science classrooms: teacher perspectives and strategies J Res Sci Teach 43 353 376 10.1002/tea.20142 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.20142
17. Schiefele U, Krapp A, Winteler A 1992 Interest as a predictor of academic achievement: a meta-analysis of research 183 212 Renninger KA, Hidi S, Krapp A The role of interest in learning and development Erlbaum Hillsdale, NJ
18. Suinn RM 1999 Teaching culturally diverse students 151 171 McKeachie WJ Teaching tips: strategies, research, and theory for college and university teachers Houghton Mifflin New York, NY
19. Tobin K, Capie W, Bettencourt A 1988 Active learning for higher cognitive learning in science Int J Sci Educ 10 17 27 10.1080/0950069880100103 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0950069880100103
20. Vance-Chalcraft H, Bunnell A, Enderle P, Fewell M, Crenshaw T 2007 Re-thinking university non-majors science education: curriculum revision for large, multiple instructor biology classes A paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Science Teacher Education Clearwater Beach, FL
21. Walker KA, Zeidler DL 2007 Promoting discourse about socioscientific issues through scaffolded inquiry Int J Sci Educ 29 1387 1410 10.1080/09500690601068095 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500690601068095

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2009-05-17
2019-10-20

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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