ERIC Number: EJ1040049
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 68
The Status of Genetics Curriculum in Higher Education in the United States: Goals and Assessment
McElhinny, Teresa L.; Dougherty, Michael J.; Bowling, Bethany V.; Libarkin, Julie C.
Science & Education, v23 n2 p445-464 Feb 2014
We review the state of genetics instruction in the United States through the lens of backward design, with particular attention to the goals and assessments that inform curricular practice. An analysis of syllabi and leading textbooks indicates that genetics instruction focuses most strongly on foundations of DNA and Mendelian genetics. At the same time, a survey of faculty indicates that other concepts, such as the application of genetics to society or the environment, are viewed as equally or even more important than foundation concepts. This disconnect suggests a need for more explicit goal setting prior to curriculum development. We also review the relationship between concept inventories, multiple-choice tests measuring conceptual understanding, and curricular goals. Existing concept inventories offer a strong foundation on which to build community-developed concept assessments of genetics knowledge. Concept assessments such as these would allow the genetics education community to test hypotheses of curricular change.
Descriptors: Genetics, Science Instruction, Science Curriculum, Textbooks, Course Descriptions, Teacher Surveys, Scientific Concepts, Goal Orientation, Curriculum Development, Hypothesis Testing, College Science
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A