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ERIC Number: EJ1099439
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1938-9809
Bringing the "Two Cultures" Together through "A World of Light and Color"
Mian, Shabbir M.; Marx, Jeffrey D.; Pagonis, Vasilis
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2008 n2 Sum 2008
In the United States, the undergraduate general education curriculum by and large requires students take courses from the arts and humanities as well as the sciences in order to produce well-rounded or liberally educated individuals. This educational philosophy is in line with C. P. Snow's recommendation for increased communication between the "two cultures", though the exchange of ideas may not be optimal as one would like. Most colleges and universities expect undergraduate students to take introductory science courses, sometimes designed for non-science majors. In our experience, many of these students are inadequately prepared in science and mathematics, and have weak attitudes about the nature of science and scientific inquiry. We find students in traditional lecture classes eventually lose interest in these content-driven courses, fail to see the relevance of the material they learned, and miss out on the excitement of scientific discovery. To address these concerns, we created a single-theme, general science course with the help of government and institutional funds in which non-science students engage in simple activities designed to help them understand basic light phenomena. In our course, "A World of Light and Color," students learn how to think like scientists rather than simply learn about science. It is this sense of student ownership of learning coupled with carefully crafted curricular material inspired from physics education research that has made our course very successful and measurably effective. In this paper, we will present our development model, outline the structure of a typical class, provide examples of activities, and discuss assessment strategies and results.
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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: Maryland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A