Carl Wieman finds PSE slow to change

June 21, 2013

A recent Chronicle of Higher Education article examines the research on, and push for, better methods for teaching university sciences by former White House adviser and Nobel Prize-winner Carl E. Wieman. The author explains that Wieman “made a second career” of studying and promoting a hands-on approach to teaching science -- where discussions are more important than lectures and practical applications are better than rubrics. His work at the White House culminated in his proposed annual survey of teaching practices as a way of encouraging improvements, but it was met with resistance from many universities and is now off the table. Last summer, Wieman resigned because he was “frustrated by university lobbying and distracted by a diagnosis of multiple myeloma.” However, as the Chronicle points out, Wieman’s efforts have led to progress in research into updated science teaching methods. One of these advances is the Association of American Universities’ 5-year project to raise the quality of undergraduate teaching and learning in science and math fields. Chronicle of Higher Education