We are pleased to announce the Winter 2013 issue of Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal. This issue continues our mission of publishing articles that share innovations, insights, and assessment results with an international community of educators.
This issue begins with a Point of View article by Wm. David Burns, Executive Director of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement at Harrisburg University and Principal Investigator of the SENCER, SENCER-ISE, and GLISTEN projects. The article is adapted from his remarks at the 2013 TUES Principal Investigators Conference in January 2013 and highlights the synergies, research, and challenges that have emerged during more than a decade of grant funding from the National Science Foundation.
In the Research Article section, a group of colleagues from Brigham Young University—Jessica Rosenvall Howell, Michelle Frandsen McDonald, Pat Esplin, G. Bruce Schaalje, and Gary M. Booth—describe a survey of faculty members, biology majors, and undergraduate non-majors., where each group was asked to rank what biology concepts they considered most important. There were significant differences among the groups’ rankings; for example, one of the greatest disparities was observed for the concept of “evolution.” This study reveals t how faculty members and students have different viewpoints about the same the same course material, and the authors provide suggestions for how this mismatch can be addressed.
This journal issue contains four contributions to the Project Reportssection. A team from the United States Military Academy at West Point provides an initial report about “Putting the Backbone into Interdisciplinary Learning.” These authors (Charles Elliot, Gerald Kobylski, LTC Peter Molin, Craig D. Morrow, COL Diane M. Ryan, Susan K. Schwartz, Joseph C. Shannon, andChristopher Weld) describe an interdisciplinary learning initiative organized around the concept of “energy.” In another report, G. González-Arévalo and M. Pivarski from Roosevelt University explain how they integrated real-world projects into a calculus II course with the goal of increasing student interest and engagement—examples include the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Devin Iimoto(Whitter College) provides an account of integrating service-learning in a course on the biology and cultural context of AIDS. Finally, Kevin E. Finnand Kyle McInnis from Merrimack College describe the development of an “Active Science” curriculum in which physical activities are incorporated into science classes and after-school programs for middle-school children.
We want to thank all the contributors to this issue for writing and sharing these articles.
— Trace Jordan and Eliza Reilly, Co-Editors-in-Chief