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ERIC Number: EJ944200
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-1938-9809
Sustainable Equity: Avoiding the Pendulum Effect in the Life Sciences
Parker, Tatiana C. Tatum; Rosenthal, Rebecca
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2011 n2 2011
In order to understand and resolve the disproportionate number of women in the sciences it is necessary to look at historical educational trends. Through the ages there is evidence of a "pendulum effect" where there have been major shifts focusing science education either on male or females. To be able to realistically establish sustainable equity in the natural and life sciences it is necessary to reexamine not only the curriculum verbiage used in the text but also teaching styles that are used to present the material. One approach is introducing more hands-on learning to supplement the "banking" approach traditionally used in introductory science classes. Hands-on learning engages visual, kinesthetic as well as auditory pathways and allows students to move from abstract thinking to dealing with the concrete. While there have been numerous studies done, they have historically focused on the effect of hands-on learning in K-12 schools. There is still much research that needs to be done on all types of science curriculum, especially at the post secondary level. We conducted several studies at Saint Xavier University with students in the Introductory Biology and Women in Science Courses. We examined the effects of various pedagogies on class performance in a non-majors science course. We examined the effects of no labs, a few labs or weekly labs on student performance. Significant improvements were seen within sexes (10%), and with female students (13%), while male students showed modest improvement (2%). While this is not the only way to achieve sustainable equity in natural sciences, this appears to be an effective pedagogical tool in stabilizing the "pendulum effect". (Contains 1 table, 22 footnotes, and 2 graphs.).
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A