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Participants in this workshop were asked to explore three related questions: (1) how to create measures of undergraduate learning in STEM courses; (2) how such measures might be organized into a framework of criteria and benchmarks to assess instruction; and (3) how such a framework might be used at the institutional level to assess STEM courses and curricula to promote ongoing improvements. The following issues were highlighted:
  • Effective science instruction identifies explicit, measurable learning objectives.
  • Effective teaching assists students in reconciling their incomplete or erroneous preconceptions with new knowledge.
  • Instruction that is limited to passive delivery of information requiring memorization of lecture and text contents is likely to be unsuccessful in eliciting desired learning outcomes.
  • Models of effective instruction that promote conceptual understanding in students and the ability of the learner to apply knowledge in new situations are available.
  • Institutions need better assessment tools for evaluating course design and effective instruction.
  • Deans and department chairs often fail to recognize measures they have at their disposal to enhance incentives for improving education.
  • Much is still to be learned from research into how to improve instruction in ways that enhance student learning.
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Additional Information

Publisher
National Academies Press
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Published on
May 28, 2003
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Pages
176
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ISBN
9780309167956
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Higher
Education / Teaching Methods & Materials / Science & Technology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Economic, academic, and social forces are causing undergraduate schools to start a fresh examination of teaching effectiveness. Administrators face the complex task of developing equitable, predictable ways to evaluate, encourage, and reward good teaching in science, math, engineering, and technology.

Evaluating, and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics offers a vision for systematic evaluation of teaching practices and academic programs, with recommendations to the various stakeholders in higher education about how to achieve change.

What is good undergraduate teaching? This book discusses how to evaluate undergraduate teaching of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology and what characterizes effective teaching in these fields.

Why has it been difficult for colleges and universities to address the question of teaching effectiveness? The committee explores the implications of differences between the research and teaching cultures-and how practices in rewarding researchers could be transferred to the teaching enterprise.

How should administrators approach the evaluation of individual faculty members? And how should evaluation results be used? The committee discusses methodologies, offers practical guidelines, and points out pitfalls.

Evaluating, and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics provides a blueprint for institutions ready to build effective evaluation programs for teaching in science fields.
Before your students can discover accurate science, you need to uncover the preconceptions they already have. This book helps pinpoint what your students know (or think they know) so you can monitor their learning and adjust your teaching accordingly. Loaded with classroom-friendly features you can use immediately, the book is comprised of 25 "probes", brief, easily administered activities designed to determine your students' thinking on 44 core science topics (grouped by light, sound, matter, gravity, heat and temperature, life science, and Earth and space science).

The probes are invaluable formative assesment tools to use before you begin teaching a topic or unit. The detailed teacher materials that accompany each probe review science content, give connections to National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks; present developmental considerations; summarize relevant research on learning; and suggest instructional approaches for elementary, middle, and high school students. Other books may discuss students' general misconceptions about scientific thinking about scientific ideas. Only this one provides probes, single, reproducible sheets, you can use to determine students' thinking about, for example, photosynthesis, moon phases, conservation of matter, reflections, chemical change, and cells. Each probe has been field-tested with hundreds of students across multiple grade levels, so they're proven effective for helping your students reexamine and further develop their understanding of science concepts.

First released in the Spring of 1999, How People Learn has been expanded to show how the theories and insights from the original book can translate into actions and practice, now making a real connection between classroom activities and learning behavior. This edition includes far-reaching suggestions for research that could increase the impact that classroom teaching has on actual learning.

Like the original edition, this book offers exciting new research about the mind and the brain that provides answers to a number of compelling questions. When do infants begin to learn? How do experts learn and how is this different from non-experts? What can teachers and schools do-with curricula, classroom settings, and teaching methods--to help children learn most effectively? New evidence from many branches of science has significantly added to our understanding of what it means to know, from the neural processes that occur during learning to the influence of culture on what people see and absorb.

How People Learn examines these findings and their implications for what we teach, how we teach it, and how we assess what our children learn. The book uses exemplary teaching to illustrate how approaches based on what we now know result in in-depth learning. This new knowledge calls into question concepts and practices firmly entrenched in our current education system.

Topics include: How learning actually changes the physical structure of the brain. How existing knowledge affects what people notice and how they learn. What the thought processes of experts tell us about how to teach. The amazing learning potential of infants. The relationship of classroom learning and everyday settings of community and workplace. Learning needs and opportunities for teachers. A realistic look at the role of technology in education.

More than an estimated 90 million adults in the United States lack the literacy skills needed for fully productive and secure lives. The effects of this shortfall are many: Adults with low literacy have lower rates of participation in the labor force and lower earnings when they do have jobs, for example. They are less able to understand and use health information. And they are less likely to read to their children, which may slow their children's own literacy development.


At the request of the U.S. Department of Education, the National Research Council convened a committee of experts from many disciplines to synthesize research on literacy and learning in order to improve instruction for those served in adult education in the U.S. The committee's report, Improving Adult Literacy Instruction: Options for Practice and Research, recommends a program of research and innovation to gain a better understanding of adult literacy learners, improve instruction, and create the supports adults need for learning and achievement.


Improving Adult Literacy Instruction: Developing Reading and Writing, which is based on the report, presents an overview of what is known about how literacy develops the component skills of reading and writing, and the practices that are effective for developing them. It also describes principles of reading and writing instruction that can guide those who design and administer programs or courses to improve adult literacy skills. Although this is not intended as a "how to" manual for instructors, teachers may also find the information presented here to be helpful as they plan and deliver instruction.

Virtually everyone needs a high level of literacy in both print and digital media to negotiate most aspects of 21st century life-succeeding in a competitive job market, supporting a family, navigating health information, and participating in civic activities. Yet, according to a recent survey estimate, more than 90 million adults in the United States lack the literacy skills needed for fully productive and secure lives.


At the request of the U.S. Department of Education, the National Research Council convened a committee of experts from many disciplines to synthesize research on literacy and learning in order to improve instruction for those served in adult education in the U.S. The committee's report, Improving Adult Literacy Instruction: Options for Practice and Research, recommends a program of research and innovation to gain a better understanding of adult literacy learners, improve instruction, and create the supports adults need for learning and achievement.


Improving Adult Literacy Instruction: Supporting Learning and Motivation, which is based on the report, describes principles of effective instruction to guide those who design and administer adult literacy programs and courses. It also explores ways to motivate learners to persist in their studies, which is crucial given the thousands of hours of study and practice required to become proficient.The booklet concludes with a look at technologies that show promise for supporting individual learners and freeing busy adults from having to be in a particular place in order to practice their literacy skills. Although this booklet is not intended as a "how to" manual for instructors, teachers may also find the information presented here to be helpful as they plan and deliver instruction.

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