The Program in Science Learning is a special School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Program committed to promoting excellence in post-secondary education. We are most concerned with the improvement undergraduate education programs and the development of outreach programs that engage the public in authentic scientific research.
We are particularly committed to:
The Need for Research into the Efficacy of Education Strategies.
There is growing concern that the United States' citizenry is uninformed and disengaged with regard to work from the scientific community (National Research Council Report 1999). This disengagement may be related to a lack of science understanding. In 1999, the NRC Committee on Undergraduate Science Education recognized a deficit in the scientific literacy in grantees of undergraduate degrees and called for nationwide reform in undergraduate science education.
Here at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, we are not only conducting research but we are also helping faculty to meet course and program assessment needs, general instructional strategies, and we are offering a STAT certification program!
Citizen Science Programs:
We define citizen science programs as those that involve citizens (K-Life) as decision-makers in scientific initiatives outside of formal educational initiatives. In environmental issues, research has shown citizen science initiatives to be successful in promoting civic engagement. Because of their involvement, citizen groups have played a role in shaping environmental policy. Involvement in citizen science programs can also promote scientific literacy.
The program in science learning is also engaged in a number of programs investigating science learning in informal frameworks.
Minor degree programs for Every Major:
For students interested in careers involving education, we offer three minors.