“Even teachers need to go back to school, especially when it comes to learning how to teach science better. That’s an idea the University of Oregon has embraced with such gusto it has become a leader in efforts to make science classes more effective and engaging. And interest is spreading, from veteran professors to young doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows. Funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and directed by UO Science Literacy Program director Elly Vandegrift, the summer institute brought 55 faculty and postdoctoral researchers from across the country, including 23 from the UO, to campus for a week of evidence-based science teaching workshops.
“We are trained to be experts in our disciplinary fields, but that does not mean we have practiced how to communicate the science to nonexperts or have learned about approaches that support learning for all students,” Vandegrift said. Andy Karduna has been teaching human physiology for more than two decades. Karduna has tenure and serves as director of graduate studies for the UO’s Department of Human Physiology. Come this fall, he will develop a new a science class for students who aren’t majoring in science. “I’m at a point in my career where I wanted a challenge, but I was never trained to teach,” Karduna said. One of the approaches is called active learning. That’s where students are being engaged, participating and being assessed throughout an entire class rather than sitting passively through a lecture.” To read the rest of this story by Molly Blancett, please visit the website.