- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1557384
- First Name Stephen
- Last Name Farenga
- Discipline Chemistry
Gopal Subramaniam, Queens College CUNY, firstname.lastname@example.org; Salvatore Garofalo, Queens College CUNY, Salvatore.Garofalo@qc.cuny.edu
Jay Ho, Queens College CUNY, email@example.com; Victoria Pirulli, Queens College CUNY, firstname.lastname@example.org
To present data and analyze the use of high school science education students as collaborators in the redesign and instruction of college chemistry laboratory courses.
Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected through student surveys, data from students who participated in the redesigned labs, data from lab instructors, and data from secondary science education majors.
There are difficulties in practicing inquiry-based science in a college setting. Three invariable problems were constant during our investigation: high turnover of lab instructors who are typically graduate students; instructors who typically teach the way they were taught; and the reticence of students to critically analyze how to design and execute lab activities. In response, science education students, under our mentorship, participated in the collaborative development of inquiry-based laboratory exercises. They also served as primary or secondary laboratory instructors of the college laboratory courses. We had two goals for our NOYCE students: (1) apply pedagogy to upper-level content education and (2) know the gap between high school science and college expectation.
Early results suggest that the presence of science education students in the class made a major difference in the pedagogical process of delivering inquiry-based content. It improved retention and increased active participation of students. For the Noyce candidates who served as co-instructors, the program also increased their content knowledge and critical thinking skills.
The initial findings are very encouraging and suggest the model can be scaled up. Engaging STEM students in active inquiry-based laboratory classrooms not only improves instruction, it can as well motivate them to consider education as a career.