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Investigation of science faculty with education specialties within the largest university system in the United States.

Bush SD, Pelaez NJ, Rudd JA, Stevens MT, Tanner KD, Williams KS - CBE Life Sci Educ (2011)

Bottom Line: We found that CSU SFES were engaged in three key arenas including K-12 science education, undergraduate science education, and discipline-based science education research.Although over 75% of CSU SFES were fulfilled by their teaching, scholarship, and service, our results revealed that almost 40% of CSU SFES were seriously considering leaving their positions.Our data suggest that science departments would likely benefit from explicit discussions about the role of SFES and strategies for supporting their professional activities.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182, USA.

ABSTRACT
Efforts to improve science education include university science departments hiring Science Faculty with Education Specialties (SFES), scientists who take on specialized roles in science education within their discipline. Although these positions have existed for decades and may be growing more common, few reports have investigated the SFES approach to improving science education. We present comprehensive data on the SFES in the California State University (CSU) system, the largest university system in the United States. We found that CSU SFES were engaged in three key arenas including K-12 science education, undergraduate science education, and discipline-based science education research. As such, CSU SFES appeared to be well-positioned to have an impact on science education from within science departments. However, there appeared to be a lack of clarity and agreement about the purpose of these SFES positions. In addition, formal training in science education among CSU SFES was limited. Although over 75% of CSU SFES were fulfilled by their teaching, scholarship, and service, our results revealed that almost 40% of CSU SFES were seriously considering leaving their positions. Our data suggest that science departments would likely benefit from explicit discussions about the role of SFES and strategies for supporting their professional activities.

Show MeSH
Pathways to SFES positions. Percentages of respondents who were hired into SFES positions, transitioned into SFES positions, or did not self identify as SFES for all respondents and disaggregated by science discipline.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection


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Figure 13: Pathways to SFES positions. Percentages of respondents who were hired into SFES positions, transitioned into SFES positions, or did not self identify as SFES for all respondents and disaggregated by science discipline.

Mentions: Data were collected anonymously, such that individual responses were not associated with a particular CSU campus. Surveys that were incomplete (n = 12), not submitted by tenure/tenure-track science faculty (n = 10), or lacking informed consent (n = 3) were excluded from this analysis. Of the remaining 78 survey respondents, 59 individuals self-identified as SFES, whereas 19 self-identified as not SFES. Analyses presented in this paper are based on data from the 59 individuals who self-identified as SFES. The only exception appears later in Figure 13, which includes data from the 19 faculty who self-identified as not SFES. In a previous publication of preliminary findings, we excluded individuals located in science education centers from analyses, but in this report, we have included these individuals as part of all SFES. We have not displayed their disaggregated data because of their low number (n = 2).


Investigation of science faculty with education specialties within the largest university system in the United States.

Bush SD, Pelaez NJ, Rudd JA, Stevens MT, Tanner KD, Williams KS - CBE Life Sci Educ (2011)

Pathways to SFES positions. Percentages of respondents who were hired into SFES positions, transitioned into SFES positions, or did not self identify as SFES for all respondents and disaggregated by science discipline.
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3046885&req=5

Figure 13: Pathways to SFES positions. Percentages of respondents who were hired into SFES positions, transitioned into SFES positions, or did not self identify as SFES for all respondents and disaggregated by science discipline.
Mentions: Data were collected anonymously, such that individual responses were not associated with a particular CSU campus. Surveys that were incomplete (n = 12), not submitted by tenure/tenure-track science faculty (n = 10), or lacking informed consent (n = 3) were excluded from this analysis. Of the remaining 78 survey respondents, 59 individuals self-identified as SFES, whereas 19 self-identified as not SFES. Analyses presented in this paper are based on data from the 59 individuals who self-identified as SFES. The only exception appears later in Figure 13, which includes data from the 19 faculty who self-identified as not SFES. In a previous publication of preliminary findings, we excluded individuals located in science education centers from analyses, but in this report, we have included these individuals as part of all SFES. We have not displayed their disaggregated data because of their low number (n = 2).

Bottom Line: We found that CSU SFES were engaged in three key arenas including K-12 science education, undergraduate science education, and discipline-based science education research.Although over 75% of CSU SFES were fulfilled by their teaching, scholarship, and service, our results revealed that almost 40% of CSU SFES were seriously considering leaving their positions.Our data suggest that science departments would likely benefit from explicit discussions about the role of SFES and strategies for supporting their professional activities.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182, USA.

ABSTRACT
Efforts to improve science education include university science departments hiring Science Faculty with Education Specialties (SFES), scientists who take on specialized roles in science education within their discipline. Although these positions have existed for decades and may be growing more common, few reports have investigated the SFES approach to improving science education. We present comprehensive data on the SFES in the California State University (CSU) system, the largest university system in the United States. We found that CSU SFES were engaged in three key arenas including K-12 science education, undergraduate science education, and discipline-based science education research. As such, CSU SFES appeared to be well-positioned to have an impact on science education from within science departments. However, there appeared to be a lack of clarity and agreement about the purpose of these SFES positions. In addition, formal training in science education among CSU SFES was limited. Although over 75% of CSU SFES were fulfilled by their teaching, scholarship, and service, our results revealed that almost 40% of CSU SFES were seriously considering leaving their positions. Our data suggest that science departments would likely benefit from explicit discussions about the role of SFES and strategies for supporting their professional activities.

Show MeSH