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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 perceptions of access to resources compared with non-SFES. Reported relative starting salary (A), current salary (B), start-up package (C), lab space (D), and access to graduate students (for SFES in departments with graduate programs; E) for all SFES and disaggregated by science discipline.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection


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Figure 8: SFES perceptions of access to resources compared with non-SFES. Reported relative starting salary (A), current salary (B), start-up package (C), lab space (D), and access to graduate students (for SFES in departments with graduate programs; E) for all SFES and disaggregated by science discipline.

Mentions: Although SFES participated in a great variety of scholarly activities (Figure 3), many consistently perceived a lack of institutional support for those activities, as compared with the support they perceived non-SFES received. Most SFES felt their starting and current salaries were similar to those of non-SFES (Figure 8, A and B) but many SFES reported that, upon hiring, they perceived that they received less start-up funding and less laboratory space compared with non-SFES (45% and 53%, respectively; Figure 8, C and D). In addition, most (78%) SFES with departmental graduate programs reported having less access to graduate student researchers to support their scholarly activities as compared with non-SFES (Figure 8E).


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 perceptions of access to resources compared with non-SFES. Reported relative starting salary (A), current salary (B), start-up package (C), lab space (D), and access to graduate students (for SFES in departments with graduate programs; E) 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 8: SFES perceptions of access to resources compared with non-SFES. Reported relative starting salary (A), current salary (B), start-up package (C), lab space (D), and access to graduate students (for SFES in departments with graduate programs; E) for all SFES and disaggregated by science discipline.
Mentions: Although SFES participated in a great variety of scholarly activities (Figure 3), many consistently perceived a lack of institutional support for those activities, as compared with the support they perceived non-SFES received. Most SFES felt their starting and current salaries were similar to those of non-SFES (Figure 8, A and B) but many SFES reported that, upon hiring, they perceived that they received less start-up funding and less laboratory space compared with non-SFES (45% and 53%, respectively; Figure 8, C and D). In addition, most (78%) SFES with departmental graduate programs reported having less access to graduate student researchers to support their scholarly activities as compared with non-SFES (Figure 8E).

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