Friday, March 4, 2011

Changing the Culture of Science Education at Research Universities

Some blog followers might be interested in a recent post “Changing the Culture of Science Education at Research Universities” [Hake (2011)]. The abstract reads:


ABSTRACT: Those concerned with the effectiveness of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education might be interested in a recent Opinion Piece in Science titled Changing the Culture of Science Education at Research Universities” [Anderson et al. (2011)].

Science Daily reported (paraphrasing): “The reward systems at universities heavily favor science, math, and engineering research at the expense of teaching, which can and must change. That's the conclusion of UC Irvine biology professor Diane K. O'Dowd and research professors at Harvard, Yale, MIT, and elsewhere.”

According to Harvard Magazine (paraphrasing): “The first recommendation of Anderson et al. is ‘Educate faculty about research on learning.’ ‘No scientist would engage in research without exploring previous work in the field, yet few university educators read education research. Universities can demonstrate that they value teaching by treating it as a scholarly activity ……. predicated on……. education theory, tested practices, and methods to assess learning.’ ”


To access the complete 7 kB post please click on

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University

Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands

President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References which Recognize the Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)>

“We have not been very systematic about our quest to improve teaching, even though we value it highly and frequently do well at it. I am struck, for example, by the lack of conversation about what pedagogy means, and what makes it successful. It is our profession, yet it is mysteriously absent from our professional discourse. Here we are, engaged in an activity that is vital to ourselves, our students, and our public - yet we speak of how to do it, if at all, as though it had no data base, lacked a history, and offered no innovative challenges.”

- Donald Kennedy (1990).

REFERENCES [URL's shortened by and accessed on 04 March 2011.]

Anderson, W.A., U. Banerjee, C.L. Drennan, S.C.R. Elgin, I.R. Epstein, J. Handelsman, G.F. Hatfull, R. Losick, D.K. O'Dowd, B.M. Olivera, S.A. Strobel, G.C. Walker, I.M. Warner. 2011. “Changing the Culture of Science Education at Research Universities,” Science, 14 January: 331(6014): 152-153; online as a 172 kB pdf at; supporting online references suggested by R.R. Hake are at

Hake, R.R. 2011. “Changing the Culture of Science Education at Research Universities,” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at Post of 4 Mar 2011 08:04:14-0800 to AERA-L, Net-Gold, and PhysLrnR. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to various discussion lists.

Kennedy, D. 1990. “Stanford in its second century,” an address to the Stanford community at the Meeting of the Academic Council, April 5, Stanford University Campus Report (April 11): 17-18.

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