Tanner noted that 88 percent of the faculty has shown interest in the program -- and that fewer than 28 percent of them reported having any teacher training beyond a graduate school teaching assistantship. "The quality of our research is extraordinarily high, and the quality of intentions is also very high, but most university scientists are not trained in effective approaches to teaching," she said.
"We have a very talented, very willing faculty, and they're ready to be innovative," she continued. "They just need access to new ways of thinking and to intellectual and material resources to support change."
Tanner believes the Biology FEST program could become a national model for improving undergraduate science education through a sustained focus on supporting faculty innovations in teaching, an idea echoed by HHMI.
"HHMI is investing in these schools because they have shown they are superb incubators of new ideas and models that might be replicated by other institutions to improve how science is taught in college," said Sean B. Carroll, vice president of science education at HHMI. "We know that these schools have engaged faculty. They care deeply about teaching and how effectively their students are learning about science."
|Contact: Nan Broadbent|
San Francisco State University