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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
SFES professional training. Pie graphs describe the proportions of SFES with any formal postbaccalaureate training in science (A) and science education (C). Bar graphs describe the types of formal postbaccalaureate training SFES report in science (B) and science education (D) for all SFES and disaggregated by science discipline.
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Figure 5: SFES professional training. Pie graphs describe the proportions of SFES with any formal postbaccalaureate training in science (A) and science education (C). Bar graphs describe the types of formal postbaccalaureate training SFES report in science (B) and science education (D) for all SFES and disaggregated by science discipline.

Mentions: Virtually all SFES in all disciplines had formal training in science (including postdocs, PhDs, and/or master's degrees) prior to being hired into their current positions (Figure 5, A and B). All Geoscience and Physics SFES had formal training in science, whereas small percentages of Biology and Chemistry SFES did not (5% and 7%, respectively). Most SFES over all disciplines (88%) had earned science PhDs, whereas many had completed science postdocs (37%) and/or science master's degrees (48%). The patterns of formal training across the disciplines were similar.


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)

SFES professional training. Pie graphs describe the proportions of SFES with any formal postbaccalaureate training in science (A) and science education (C). Bar graphs describe the types of formal postbaccalaureate training SFES report in science (B) and science education (D) for all SFES and disaggregated by science discipline.
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 5: SFES professional training. Pie graphs describe the proportions of SFES with any formal postbaccalaureate training in science (A) and science education (C). Bar graphs describe the types of formal postbaccalaureate training SFES report in science (B) and science education (D) for all SFES and disaggregated by science discipline.
Mentions: Virtually all SFES in all disciplines had formal training in science (including postdocs, PhDs, and/or master's degrees) prior to being hired into their current positions (Figure 5, A and B). All Geoscience and Physics SFES had formal training in science, whereas small percentages of Biology and Chemistry SFES did not (5% and 7%, respectively). Most SFES over all disciplines (88%) had earned science PhDs, whereas many had completed science postdocs (37%) and/or science master's degrees (48%). The patterns of formal training across the disciplines were similar.

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