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  • Created 24 Jun 2015

About the Group

Public Description

Who We Are

The goal of this working group is to synthesize educational research on how students learn mathematical, biological and interdisciplinary skills, collect information on effective pedagogical methods and instructional interventions, and generate accessible resources for faculty to integrate this information into their teaching. These are lofty and broad goals, and the group will need to focus more narrowly on specific topics that we are well equipped to address.  

Pedagogical content knowledge and implementation of effective pedagogies is one possible area to explore.  Questions around teaching modeling (for example, how much do we know about teaching systems?), scaffolding (can we improve vertical integration across curriculum?), and how to support horizontal integration across the curriculum may be of interest to the group.  

We want to know what lessons from math, statistics, and other quantitative disciplines could we share with faculty teaching quantitative biology.  For example, what is the best way to address quantitative misconceptions that impact biology such as issues with scale and units?  Do we have evidence-based pedagogies we can adopt and adapt for teaching quantitative biology, or do we need to be generating this information?

Follow this link for the Working Group Page at NIMBioS.

We may also consider the differences between the professional development math and biology faculty receive prior to leading a classroom, as well as questions such as:  How much of the math does the biologist need to know?  How much biology does a mathematician need to know?  

Another topic might be considering which topics and skills are necessary to truly prepare biology majors for doing science, and what is the appropriate order and priority for focusing on quantitative reasoning (skill building) or quantitative tools (knowledge building)?  

Whichever areas we choose to explore, our goal will be to share this information with as broad an audience as possible through papers, presentations and workshops.