The development of problem solving and critical reflection skills is neglected in early-level science courses; however, such skills are necessary in upper-year science courses and scientific careers (Gupta 2005). Early-year science teaching seems to be about memorization and recall (McDonald and Dominguez 2009) because teachers feel that they have insufficient time to integrate problem solving and critical reflection components into their courses while covering the subject matter (Kronberg and Griffin 2000). Yet, integrating problem solving and critical reflection opportunities into science courses does not have to take too much time and can cover the same curriculum subject matter (Kronberg and Griffin 2000; McDonald and Dominguez 2009); students usually learn more and have a greater understanding of concepts resulting in better grades (e.g., Chaplin 2009); and teachers have more frequent assessments of what their students are learning and can make instructional changes as required (McDonald and Dominguez 2009). This seminar will demonstrate methods (that are not greatly time consuming or drastically change the current curriculum) to integrate problem solving and critical reflection opportunities into lectures, laboratories, and tutorials of early-level science courses. Participants also have the opportunity to actively demonstrate the methods. The benefits of developing problem solving and critical reflection skills earlier in university science education are better grades, better integration of complex topics, and a better understanding of what students are actually learning.
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Houde, Aimee Lee
"Integrating Problem Solving and Critical Reflection Opportunities in First- and Second-Year Science Courses.,"
Teaching Innovation Projects: Vol. 1
, Article 7.
Available at: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/tips/vol1/iss1/7