Navigation Links
Partnership enhances biology teaching at California community colleges

When student Jeff Schinske took part in a graduate teaching fellowship through Associate Professor of Biology Kimberly Tanner's lab at San Francisco State University, the experience inspired him to teach biology. But when he graduated and became a community college instructor, Schinske found there was little professional support.

Schinske and Tanner are collaborating on a project that meets that need. With funding from the National Science Foundation, they are bringing together Bay Area community college biology instructors and helping them find innovative ways to refine their teaching.

"It can be isolating to be a community college instructor," said Schinske, who teaches biology at De Anza College in Cupertino, Calif. "Unlike K-12 teachers or university professors, you don't have a professional community centered on the grade level you teach or your field of research."

A lack of professional community isn't the only challenge.

"Much like university faculty, community college biology instructors are trained to conduct scientific research but they aren't trained how to teach," Tanner said.

She runs a range of programs for current and aspiring science educators through SF State's Science Education Partnership and Assessment Lab (SEPAL).

"I teach science instructors to be the best teachers that they can be," Tanner said. "This community partnership is an extension of that work." Community College Biology Faculty Enhancement through Scientific Teaching (CCB FEST) began in in 2010 and just received another NSF grant to support it for the next four years. The program includes monthly workshops, a summer intensive session, discussion groups and opportunities for community college faculty to partner with SF State graduate students.

The program encourages community college instructors to apply the rigor of scientific research to their teaching, collecting evidence from students about what they are learning and using that to refine how they teach. The approach is called scientific teaching.

"Scientific teaching draws back the curtain between what I'm teaching and what my students are learning," Schinske said. "I'm more of a partner with my students in the learning environment that I create. I teach them how to learn and believe that knowing how to learn will help them when they transfer to a university."

The ultimate goal of CCB FEST is for community college students to be more engaged in science and make a successful transition to four-year colleges. Tanner notes that approximately 60 percent of San Francisco State University's biology graduates transferred to the University from community colleges.

With funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Tanner will launch a similar project this fall, helping faculty in SF State's Biology Department to enhance their teaching.


Contact: Elaine Bible
San Francisco State University

Related biology news :

1. Linking and lightening: New partnership connects and reveals dark data
2. Science, Innovation, and Partnerships for Sustainability -- Symposium May 16-18
3. Ducks Unlimited Canada and Canadian Light Source partnership to shed light on wetlands
4. New museum-university partnership ushers in new era of environmental science education
5. Grants add to Northwestern-Qatar partnership
6. Royal Astronomical Society and Oxford University Press partnership announced
7. MU celebrates $5 million partnership for advancing biomedical discoveries
8. Planarian genes that control stem cell biology identified
9. New synthetic biology technique boosts microbial production of diesel fuel
10. Carnegies Wolf B. Frommer receives Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology
11. Biology professor secures grant to save West Virginias primary natural history collection
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/22/2016)...  The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics was ... as one of the fastest-growing trade shows during the Fastest ... in Las Vegas . ... in each of the following categories: net square feet of ... attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 out ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016 On Monday, the Department of ... to share solutions for the Biometric Exit Program. The ... Border Protection (CBP), explains that CBP intends to add ... the United States , in order to ... imposters. Logo - ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading provider ... public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that ... has secured the final acceptance by all three ... Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have ... installed by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a ... $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank ... automation and to advance its drug development efforts, as ... facility. "SVB has been an incredible strategic ... services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... OTTAWA, ON (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... former DNA Technical Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA ... joining the STACS DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Apellis ... Phase 1 clinical trials of its complement C3 ... single and multiple ascending dose studies designed to ... (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... (SC) either as a single dose (ranging from ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Andrew ... Published recently in ... journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz , ... cancer care is placing an increasing burden on ... biologic therapies. With the patents on many biologics ...
Breaking Biology Technology: