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ERIC Number: EJ884068
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Is Vacation Apprenticeship of Undergraduate Life Science Students a Model for Human Capacity Development in the Life Sciences?
Downs, Colleen Thelma
International Journal of Science Education, v32 n5 p687-704 Mar 2010
A life sciences undergraduate apprenticeship initiative was run during the vacations at a South African university. In particular, the initiative aimed to increase the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Annually 12-18 undergraduate biology students were apprenticed to various institutions during the January and July vacations from 2005 to 2007. This was to develop their skills and interests in the biological sciences, particularly in biocontrol and entomology. Results suggest that this "grassroots" approach increased the number of Black and female students in the life sciences. In particular, it developed their knowledge of the discipline of science and of how it progresses. For most students it enthused and motivated them in the pursuit of their studies and in considering postgraduate research. Students benefited socially from the interactions with researchers and staff, and learnt the protocols of research institutions. Economically most students benefited as they had financial loans for their studies, and the additional monies assisted them in meeting some of the payments. It is proposed that this undergraduate apprenticeship be used as a model for human capacity development at an undergraduate level that can be adopted in the other sciences and universities. This provides an alternative to the current South African National Research Foundation model, a top-down approach, that is aimed at recruiting Black and female students at the postgraduate level. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa