Scientific Thinking and Internet Learning Technologies

Project Website(s)

  • Abstract

    Internet-based curriculum is certain to be a major component in the future of education. However currently there are few established models for how to effectively teach utilizing the Internet and teachers lack training and facility with the Internet inhibiting their ability to capitalize on this resource.

    The central goal of this proposal is to produce Internet-based curriculum focused on: 1) teaching science concepts in genetics a field of biomedical research with immediate relevance to students and the public; and 2) teaching the nature of science as a process of inquiry in alignment with the National Science Education Standards. The curriculum will be targeted to high school students but as web-based materials will also be useable by the public.

    A second goal is to provide new training for science educators bringing graduate students from two disciplines basic research and educational studies into the process of curriculum development. To emphasize the nature of science as a process of inquiry each of the four units produced will draw on current research and have as its centerpiece one or more research articles published in SCIENCE.

    In addition, units will contain: 1) background tools and analysis to help students understand the significance of the research discovery; 2) activities that reinforce science concepts and provide a means for assessment; and 3) thorough teacher support materials covering content information and teaching using the Internet.

    Curriculum production will draw on several types of partnerships. First to design develop and test the curriculum we will involve clinical and basic research scientists professionals with science curriculum design experience professionals in the science education field and predoctoral trainees from basic research and education fields.

    Second a partnership with AAAS/SCIENCE will provide us access to primary literature from the research field. Third dissemination of the materials will utilize two existing structures at the University of Utah the Utah Museum of Natural History and the Genetic Science Learning Center (GSLC).

  • Additional Information

    Additonal Abstract 1

    The STILT project develops curriculum materials focused on the nature of science designed to be used for high school biology. Each of the three self-contained units requires approximately six days of instruction. Even though the units share an emphasis upon scientific thinking and the use of the Internet they can be used in any order without being redundant. The units take advantage of Internet technologies to provide animated interactive student learning experiences as well as downloadable files for additional student and teacher materials. However the units do not require that the students are online on a daily basis. The sequence in which the activities within a unit are used is crucial as they are based upon research about how students best learn science concepts and the nature of science. The three units developed as part of this project are: Learning and Memory An Addicted Brain and Biological Clocks.

    Additional Abstract 2

    In a collaborative team approach science educators scientists and curriculum designers will develop Internet-based genetic science curriculum units for high school students. Units will emphasize themes in genetics inquiry-oriented approaches and relevance to students- lives. To engage students in the process and nature of science research curriculum materials will be developed in part from original research in a collaboration with AAAS/Science. Curriculum will be disseminated free of charge via the Internet and include extensive support materials for teachers.

Associated SEPA Project(s)