As I adapted approaches that I had learned from K-12 teachers and from reading the emerging literature on undergraduate science education reform, I also came to appreciate the need for educators to carefully assess the effectiveness of pedagogical innovations applied in our classes, and disseminate the findings to the community of science educators. A colleague and I have recently published a paper in the top academic journal for conservation science (link), on the effectiveness, in terms of long-term gains in content knowledge and changes in attitude, of a problem-based learning approach to teaching conservation biology and environmental management. The paper also provides a model for using interdisciplinary problem-based learning in undergraduate courses. A second recent paper (link) provides a detailed description of a curriculum that colleagues and I have implemented to train students in techniques of shipboard aquatic research, using inquiry and problem-based learning approaches.
last revised 19 July 2007