ERIC Number: ED396951
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr-23
Interdisciplinary Science Courses for College General Education Requirements: Perspectives of Faculty at a State University.
Dass, Pradeep Maxwell
Science educators have been advocating a broader role for science education--that of helping all students see the relevance of science to their own lives. Yet the only experience with post-secondary science that non-science majors get is through a couple of science courses which are part of the general education requirements (GERs) for a liberal arts undergraduate degree. This study explores perspectives of faculty at the University of Iowa with regard to the purposes of science GER courses, their success in fulfilling these purposes, and the desirability and feasibility of offering interdisciplinary courses for science GERs. Data collection included interviews with instructors of science GER courses, members of the Natural Sciences Coordinating Committee, administrators, and instructors of interdisciplinary courses. Results indicate that the faculty can be divided into two types: those who want all students, science majors and non-majors alike, to learn as much information as possible in a semester long course; and those who feel that the amount of information covered is not as important as the type of information and the approach by which the information is presented within a context of relevancy and meaningfulness. This study also indicates that faculty generally support the idea of development of scientific literacy through GER courses in science. Contains 18 references. (JRH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Scientific Literacy and the GER Student Mini-Conference (Iowa City, IA, 1996).