Friday, April 6, 2012

Science Literacy Faculty Learning Community 2012-13

I recently got great news that my proposal to lead a Faculty Leaning Community next year was accepted!  I'm hoping to get together a group of 5-10 science professors who are interested in spending a school year trying to solve a problem of epic importance to society, teaching science literacy.  Faculty Learning Communities usually meet for two hours every three weeks.  The members prepare by reading the same literature, researching between meetings, and trying new things in their classrooms, then reporting back to the group.  Some of the most successful groups present or publish their findings at the end of the school year.  The sense of community is really the best part, though.  It's great to find other faculty who are interested in constantly improving their teaching effectiveness.  I still keep in touch with the professors in my first year faculty learning community!

Please email me at if you have any ideas for a book I could use as the main reading for the community.  If you're a Metro professor and would like to join me, we'll have a call for applications in the first few weeks of class in 2012.

Here's the proposal:
I would like to facilitate a faculty learning community for science professors to come together and find scholarly approaches to successfully teach science literacy in the introductory science college classroom.  The new Natural and Physical Sciences general studies requirements starting in fall of 2012, will require us to focus more on science literacy, the scientific method, and general science skills rather than just a slew of information we tend to throw at students on a particular topic in our introductory courses.  Rather than approaching our courses as “An Introduction to My Topic” and treating it like the first class they will take in our field, perhaps we should treat it as the LAST science course our students will ever take.  How can we prepare our non-science majors to use science, logic, math, technology, and skeptical, critical thinking in their everyday lives as citizens?  We can use each of our fields as the channel by which we actively teach our students the scientific way of thinking, rather than focusing on a body of knowledge.  This FLC will use a scholarly approach to search for pedagogical ways to accomplish this in the science classroom, integrate the methods into our courses in the spring, and share successful methods with all of Metro’s science faculty, as well as the broader college science professor community.