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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
Academic infrastructure for SFES scholarship in science education. Reported undergraduate curriculum elements comparable to basic science (A) and graduate curriculum elements comparable to basic science (B) for all SFES and disaggregated by science discipline.
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Figure 9: Academic infrastructure for SFES scholarship in science education. Reported undergraduate curriculum elements comparable to basic science (A) and graduate curriculum elements comparable to basic science (B) for all SFES and disaggregated by science discipline.

Mentions: Consistent with the perception of less access to resources, generally fewer than 25% of SFES reported being members of science departments with an academic infrastructure—including undergraduate or graduate courses and degree programs in science education—equivalent to that available for basic science training (Figure 9). For example, fewer than 10% of SFES had access to programs offering courses or degrees in science education research for either undergraduate or graduate students (Figure 9, A and B). Generally less than 25% of SFES reported having access to programs offering undergraduate courses or degree programs in science teaching, and this result was consistent across all science disciplines (Figure 9A). SFES as a group reported even less access to graduate programs and courses in science education research or science teaching (Figure 9B).


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)

Academic infrastructure for SFES scholarship in science education. Reported undergraduate curriculum elements comparable to basic science (A) and graduate curriculum elements comparable to basic science (B) 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 9: Academic infrastructure for SFES scholarship in science education. Reported undergraduate curriculum elements comparable to basic science (A) and graduate curriculum elements comparable to basic science (B) for all SFES and disaggregated by science discipline.
Mentions: Consistent with the perception of less access to resources, generally fewer than 25% of SFES reported being members of science departments with an academic infrastructure—including undergraduate or graduate courses and degree programs in science education—equivalent to that available for basic science training (Figure 9). For example, fewer than 10% of SFES had access to programs offering courses or degrees in science education research for either undergraduate or graduate students (Figure 9, A and B). Generally less than 25% of SFES reported having access to programs offering undergraduate courses or degree programs in science teaching, and this result was consistent across all science disciplines (Figure 9A). SFES as a group reported even less access to graduate programs and courses in science education research or science teaching (Figure 9B).

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