Curricular issues

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Curricular issues

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a Luddite who composes her posts on wax tablets before uploading them.* So it may seem curious that nearly every semester I teach at least one section of my Philosophy of Science course online. What would possess me to do such a thing? The ability to make…

Chad and Rob have already noted this piece of news about soon-to-be-published research indicating that the order in which high school students are taught physics, chemistry, and biology makes very little difference to their performance in science classes at the college level, while a rigorous math curriculum in high school gives their college science performance…

There’s an article in today’s Inside Higher Ed on the building momentum in college chemistry courses to make the labs greener — that is, to reduce the amount of hazardous materials necessary in the required student experiments. What grabbed me about the article is that it looks like the greening of the chem labs may…

Because I am engaged in a struggle with mass quantities of grading, I’m reviving a post from the vault to tide you over. I have added some new details in square brackets, and as always, I welcome your insight here.

Ann Althouse asks why schools should bother having kids read fiction: And why does reading even need to be a separate subject from history in school? Give them history texts and teach reading from them. Science books too. Leave the storybooks for pleasure reading outside of school. They will be easier reading, and with well-developed…

Since many of you were kind enough to suggest questions to ask of Margaret Spellings at SJSU’s Founders Day “The Future of Higher Education” panel last Friday, I thought I should report back on that session. First, the bad (but utterly predictable) news: while Margaret Spellings gave the keynote address, she didn’t stick around for…

Jake, Chad, and Rob have posted about a newly published study about the benefits of research experiences for undergraduates. The quick version is that involvement in research (at least in science/technology/engineering/mathematics disciplines) seems to boost the student’s enthusiasm for the subject and confidence, not to mention nearly doubling the chances that the student will pursue…

Homeschooling and chemistry.

The April 16 issue of Chemical & Engineering News has an interesting article about homeschooling families looking for chemistry curricula. (You need an individual or institutional subscription to view the article; it might be worth checking with your local library.) I’m far from an expert on homeschooling (as we’re availing ourselves of the public schools),…

I have some posts gestating on ethical issues in science, but I have to clear a bit more grading and committee work before I can do them justice. In the meantime, I want to pose a set of questions to those of you who teach labs and/or supervise laboratory research: Have you been asked to…

Steve Gimbel has a provocative post that suggests the costs of undergraduate lab classes may outweigh the benefits. Quoth Steve: [E]verything I know about physics, I learned from my theory classes. You see, science classes come in two flavors. There are theory classes where a prof stands in front of the room and lectures and…