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Major Models for NonMajors Science Courses

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The Current Events Model. The Thematic Approach. The Fundamentals of ... Current Events Model ... similar to Current Events Model. e.g. 'Ecosystem of Walden ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Major Models for NonMajors Science Courses


1
Major Models for Non-Majors Science Courses
  • Course Design Assessment Workshop
  • Rollins College
  • January, 2004
  • Preston Miles, Centre College, Danville, KY

2
Considerations in Course Design
  • institutional context
  • course goals
  • pedagogy
  • content
  • course structure the topic of this discussion
  • assessment

3
Six Models Currently Utilized for Non-Majors
Science Courses
  • The Science Majors Model
  • The Current Events Model
  • The Thematic Approach
  • The Fundamentals of Science Model
  • A Disciplinary Approach Designed for General
    Education Students
  • The Science-Technology-Public Policy Model

4
The Science Majors Model
  • Strengths
  • high uniform expectations (rigor)
  • cohesive material
  • process skills (critical thinking skills)
  • can catch potential majors
  • available resources (instructors textual)
  • Limitations
  • does not address the differing learning goals of
    major and non-major students
  • material important for students not continuing
    in the field is often not included in the first
    course taken by disciplinary majors

5
The Current Events Model
  • Description
  • the hot topics approach, e.g. HIV-AIDS, or
    genetic engineering
  • Strengths
  • stimulates student interest
  • science process skills
  • relevance
  • Limitations
  • breadth and balance of coverage
  • limited lifetime
  • resources

6
The Thematic Approach (a.k.a. case study or web
design)
  • Description
  • similar to Current Events Model
  • e.g. Ecosystem of Walden Pond
  • Strengths
  • allows tailoring to institutional setting
  • begins with narrow topic and explores outward,
    the web approach
  • currency and timeliness are less essential
  • Limitations
  • can be instructor-specific

7
Fundamentals of Science Model
  • Description
  • built upon major concepts of science, c.f.
    National Science Education Standards
  • Strengths
  • illustrates connections between concepts
  • science literacy
  • avoids the cafeteria choice dilemma
  • Limitations
  • danger of becoming too thin
  • background of instructors
  • availability of resources

8
Disciplinary Course Redesigned for Non-Major
Students
  • Strengths
  • a familiar approach
  • allows separation of major and non-major students
  • availability of resources
  • Limitations
  • science literacy
  • validity of the cafeteria model

9
The Science-Technology-Public Policy Model
  • Description
  • structured around issue of critical
    importance, e.g. energy policy
  • could be described as the newspaper headlines
    approach
  • Strengths
  • almost assures that connections be made
  • Limitations
  • demanding of instructor
  • breadth of coverage

10
Other Models
  • The great books approach
  • History of science format
  • Philosophy of science
  • these approaches tend to be about science and
    may not meet institutional goals for science
    literacy
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