Strategies for Integrative Learning in College
Publication Year: 2013
Informed by the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL), Connected Science presents a new approach to college science education for the 21st century. This interdisciplinary approach stresses integrative learning and pedagogies that engage students through open-ended inquiry, compelling real-world questions, and data-rich experiences. Faculty from a variety of disciplines and institutions present case studies based on research in the classroom, offering insights into student learning goals and best practices in curriculum design. Synthetic chapters bring together themes from the case studies, present an overview of the connected science approach, and identify strategies and future challenges to help move this work forward.
Published by: Indiana University Press
Foreword: The Scholarship of Integrative Teaching and Learning
This book emerges from the intersection of two important reform initiatives in higher education. The first involves the growth of a scholarship of teaching and learning among faculty across disciplines, and the second concerns the support of integrative learning among undergraduates across their college careers. ...
Part I: Connected Science: Why Integrative Learning Is Vital
1. Fostering Integrative Capacities for the 21st Century
I open with two stories to help frame the purpose and contributions of this book. These stories will provide concrete anchors for a more extended discussion of an approach to undergraduate science education—”connected science” learning and teaching. ...
2. From Student Learning to Teaching Foundations
Chapter 1 made a practical and moral case for connected science in higher education today, and it set this case within a historical context while looking forward to the kind of scholarship that will be required to understand the results of this educational philosophy when it is put into action. ...
Part II: Courses That Foster Integrative Learning
3. Public Health and Biochemistry: Connecting Content, Issues, and Values for Majors
One of the challenges when incorporating integrative learning experiences in the undergraduate science curriculum for majors is the widely held perception by faculty that such changes would require significant sacrifices in the content that students learn. In my experience, however, changes made in a biochemistry course sequence for biochemistry, biology, and chemistry majors ...
4. Designing to Make a Difference: Authentic Integration of Professional Skills in an Engineering Capstone Design Course
What do engineers do, and how do they contribute to society? If you are unsure of your answer, you would be in the same position as the public in general and many potential and current engineering students in particular. In response to this situation, the National Academy of Engineering completed a study in 2008 titled Changing the Conversation. ...
5. Integrative Learning in a Data-Rich Mathematics Classroom
For the past few years, I have been designing, and assigning, data-based integrative writing assignments in my mathematics classes. Each assignment presents the students with a data set about an important issue. Students are asked to analyze the data mathematically by constructing a mathematical model, and then to use a spreadsheet to implement the model. ...
6. Navigating Wormholes: Integrative Learning in a First-Year Field Course
Students often talk of lecturers who are “very good in the field.” One day I had the opportunity to assist one such lecturer in leading a group for an afternoon of geological fieldwork. He talked knowledgeably for the duration of the activity, while the students listened. By the end of the day the students had enjoyed the story, questioned nothing, and not recorded anything in notes or sketches. ...
Part III: Structures That Support Integrative Learning
7. Linking Integrated Middle-School Science with Literacy in Australian Teacher Education
“I’m sorry,” she sniffed, wiping her eyes and nose with a crumpled tissue. “It’s just that I really have no science background, and your presentation this morning made me really scared. I’m not sure I can pass this course, and I’m pretty sure I can’t teach science.” Perhaps Shelley’s story is not typical of all students in Middle Years of Schooling Science Education, ...
8. SCALE-UP in a Large Introductory Biology Course
When the faculty of the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota reviewed their introductory biology curriculum in 2003–2004, they found courses that were being taught in much the same way as they had been for decades. The courses were thoughtfully, conscientiously, and enthusiastically taught. ...
9. Reuniting the Arts and Sciences via Interdisciplinary Learning Communities
For more than a decade, Holyoke Community College (HCC) has been helping students pursue their learning in more intentional, connected ways using interdisciplinary learning communities (LCs). As a self-described “learner-centered institution,” HCC’s mission statement identifies LCs and interdisciplinary courses ...
10. Pedagogies of Integration
Abrupt climate change: What is it and how do we know it when we see it? Why do we call it abrupt when it takes so long to happen? What makes something abrupt rather than gradual on a planetary scale? Where did we get these data, and how do humans figure into this? ...
Part IV: Broader Contexts for Integrative Learning
11. Integrative Moves by Novices: Crossing Institutional, Course, and Student Contexts
The first-year seminar students were not going with the plan. They were engaged in a journey through richer and richer sets of ice core data going further back in time. First 50,000 years before the present, and eventually several million years before the present. They worked to interpret wildly oscillating climate data, ...
12. Facilitating and Sustaining Interdisciplinary Curricula: From Theory to Practice
“No disciplinary viewpoint is inherently or universally true or superior to others” (Haynes, 2002, p. xv). This is where the story of the Human Biology Program begins, with an opportunity for faculty from diverse disciplines to set aside disciplinary hegemony and intellectually engage with one another in developing, ...
Appendix: List of Key Works Used in the Development of the Interdisciplinary Program in Human Biology
Robert Brooker is Professor of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He is a life sciences education mentor in the National Academies/HHMI Summer Institutes for Undergraduate Biology Education. ...