Improving How Universities Teach Science draws on Wieman’s unparalleled experience to provide a blueprint for educators seeking sustainable improvements in science teaching. Wieman created the Science Education Initiative (SEI), a program implemented across thirteen science departments at the universities of Colorado and British Columbia, to support the widespread adoption of the best research-based approaches to science teaching. The program’s data show that in the most successful departments 90 percent of faculty adopted better methods. Wieman identifies what factors helped and hindered the adoption of good teaching methods. He also gives detailed, effective, and tested strategies for departments and institutions to measure and improve the quality of their teaching while limiting the demands on faculty time.
Among all of the commentary addressing shortcomings in higher education, Wieman’s lessons on improving teaching and learning stand out. His analysis and solutions are not limited to just one lecture hall or course but deal with changing entire departments and universities. For those who want to improve how universities teach science to the next generation, Wieman’s work is a critical first step.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
1 The Vision 5
2 The SET Model for Achieving Change 22
3 The Process of Making Change 37
4 Science Education Specialists: Agents of Change 68
5 What Was Achieved and What We Learned 92
5 The Post-Mortem: What Worked, What Didn't, and Why 131
Appendix 1 SEI Course Transformation Guide 159
Appendix 2 Guide to Interviewing Students and Faculty 227
Appendix 3 Examples of SES Advertisements and Interview Questions 233
Appendix 4 Sample Questions for SES Interviews 239