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ERIC Number: EJ1157209
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
EISSN: N/A
Do Biology Majors "Really" Differ from Non-STEM Majors?
Cotner, Sehoya; Thompson, Seth; Wright, Robin
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v16 n3 Article 48 Sep 2017
Recent calls to action urge sweeping reform in science education, advocating for improved learning for "all" students--including those majoring in fields beyond the sciences. However, little work has been done to characterize the differences--if any exist--between students planning a career in science and those studying other disciplines. We describe an attempt to clarify, in broad terms, how non-STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors differ from life sciences majors, and how they are similar. Using survey responses and institutional data, we find that non-STEM majors are not unilaterally science averse; non-STEM majors are more likely than biology majors to hold misconceptions about the nature of science, yet they are not completely ignorant of how science works; non-STEM majors are less likely than biology majors to see science as personally relevant; and non-STEM majors populations are likely to be more diverse--with respect to incoming knowledge, perceptions, backgrounds, and skills--than a biology majors population. We encourage science educators to consider these characteristics when designing curricula for future scientists or simply for a well-informed citizenry.
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail: ascbinfo@ascb.org; Website: http://www.ascb.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1432414