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Challenge Faculty to Transform STEM Learning

Models for higher education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are under pressure around the world. Although most STEM faculty and practicing scientists have learned successfully in a traditional format, they are the exception, not the norm, in their success. Education should support a diverse population of students in a world where using knowledge, not merely memorizing it, is becoming ever more important. In the United States, which by many measures is a world leader in higher education, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) recommended sweeping changes to the first 2 years of college, which are critical for recruitment and retention of STEM students. Although reform efforts call for evidence-based pedagogical approaches, supportive learning environments, and changes to faculty teaching culture and reward systems, one important aspect needs more attention: changing expectations about what students should learn, particularly in college-level introductory STEM courses. This demands that faculty seriously discuss, within and across disciplines, how they approach their curricula.

Cooper, M. M., Caballero, M. D., Ebert-May, D., Fata-Hartley, C. L., Jardeleza, S. E., Krajcik, J. S., Laverty, J. T., Matz, R. L., Posey, L. A., & Underwood, S. M. (2015). Challenge faculty to transform STEM learning. Science, 350(6258), 281-282.

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