The Truth is Powerful
Improving science literacy means changing science education
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain To graduate with a science major, college students must complete between 40 and 60 credit hours of science coursework. That means spending around 2,500 hours in the classroom throughout their undergraduate career.
However, research has shown that despite all that effort, most college science courses give students only a fragmented understanding of fundamental scientific concepts. The teaching method reinforces memorization of isolated facts , proceeding from one textbook chapter to the next without necessarily making connections between them, instead of learning how to use the information and connect those facts meaningfully.
The ability to make these connections is important beyond the classroom as well, because it’s the basis of science literacy : the ability to use scientific knowledge to accurately evaluate information and make decisions based on evidence.
As a chemistry education researcher , I have been working since 2019 with my colleague Sonia Underwood to learn more about how chemistry students integrate and apply their knowledge to other scientific disciplines.
In our most recent study, we investigated how well college students could use their chemistry knowledge to explain real-world biological phenomena. We did this by having them do activities designed to make those cross-disciplinary connections .
We found that […]