On education

Misinformation in and about science: originally published as https://facultyopinions.com/article/739916951 – July 2021

Anti-Scientific & anti-vax propaganda (1926 and today) The enduring challenge of understanding the implications of scientific observations

Mice (and humans) in a maze: a useful parable for science education? What can we learn from the natural behavior when it comes to improving science education?

Recognizing Scientific Illiteracy – my first PLoS SciEd post October 16, 2016

Higher Education Malpractice: curving grades: What is fastest way to start addressing inequities? rethink a (hopefully increasingly less) common practice

Thinking about biological thinking: Steady state, half-life & response dynamics: Insights into student thinking & course design, part of the biofundamentals project.

Going virtual without a net: Is the coronavirus-based transition from face to face to on-line instruction yet another step to down-grading instructional quality? – 19 March 2020

Avoiding unrecognized racist implications arising from teaching genetics Considering how the way we present scientific information impact students’ thinking. – 4 September 2019

Is it possible to teach evolution “sensitively”? A consideration of the challenges inherent in presenting potentially upsetting topics.

Go ahead and “teach the controversy:” it is the best way to defend science. A rigorous presentation of biological systems can only be strengthened by helping students understand how evolutionary mechanisms (natural, sexual, and social) shape organisms, why creationism fails to explain real world observations , and the general absurdities associated with “intelligent design” (sic) creationism.

Here are posts related to biology education, course design, what we might term educational engineering. Some have been edited since they were first posted on the PLoS Sci-Ed site.

The politics of educational reform

Making education matter in higher education Until departments are held explicitly responsible for students learning outcomes, little substantial and sustainable change is likely – 8 December 2017

Reverse Dunning-Kruger effects and science education Getting an accurate picture of what students know, and what they have learned after instruction, is a key driver to engineering more effective courses and curricula. – 14 September 2017

Designing a Developmental Biology course from a biofundamentalist perspective (Spring 2019)

General educational topics:

Power Posing & Science Education : Thinking about the impact of what is taught as well as how it is taught.

Biology education in the light of single cell/molecule studies: Or how the ability to characterize at gene expression at the single cell level or image individual molecules changes the way we design courses. 30 October 2016.

The importance of teaching social evolutionary mechanisms. We are social creatures, both in our make up (as collection of cells) and as socially interacting organisms, part of a community. The growing presumption of privilege behind that anti-vaccination movement and the impacts of groups who hold themselves separate from the larger community need to be understood by biology students in a social evolutionary context.

Visualizing and teaching evolution through synteny New tools, such as Genomicus, allow students to explore the organization of the genome in a wide range of organisms – one possible starting point to considering evolutionary mechanisms and relationships. 10 July 2017

Molecular machines and the place of physics in the biology curriculum Expanding on a idea posed by Bruce Alberts a few decades ago. 20 April 2018

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