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ERIC Number: EJ1020525
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1539-2422
Promoting Science Literacy through an Interdisciplinary Approach
Ross, Karen; Hooten, Mary Ann; Cohen, Glenn
Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching, v39 n1 p21-26 May 2013
Recognition of the value of a scientifically literate citizenry has driven American science education reform since the 1950s. We have seen some improvement in the comprehension of science facts in the past 10-20 years, but far less improvement in Americans' understanding of the nature of science. College science courses are ideal venues for promoting science literacy. However, in an effort to condense a complicated subject into a single semester, the nature of science is often lost amidst the facts presented in a freshman survey course, often the entirety of a non-science major's experience in science. We argue that an interdisciplinary approach that integrates the sciences and the humanities can attract non-science majors, increasing these students' exposure to scientific concepts by relating them to students' existing interests and knowledge. This fosters science literacy by teaching students that science is a process of human inquiry with a distinct methodology, instead of simply a litany of facts. We recommend that a successful interdisciplinary course should present an engaging topic with which students can identify, incorporate opportunities for student research, and offer site visits to working laboratories.
Association of College and Biology Educators. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alabama
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A