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Professors participate in STEM teaching research published in "Science"

April 30, 2018
Otterbein University

WESTERVILLE, OHIO—Otterbein University faculty were a part of a recent study published in Science, a renowned professional journal, analyzing over 2,000 college classes in science, technology, engineering and math. The study found that 55 percent of STEM classroom interactions consisted of conventional lecturing, which prior research has proved to be the least effective teaching strategy among students.

Four Otterbein faculty members received a National Science Foundation grant for their portion of the research in 2013. These faculty members are: Joan Esson, associate professor of chemistry; Kathryn Plank, director, Otterbein Center for Teaching and Learning; Paul Wendel, associate professor of education; and Anna Young, associate professor, director of Zoo and Conservation Science program.

“A student active classroom is a better environment for students to learn,” said Esson. “The results show that colleges need more faculty training and higher standards for teachers to practice student centered experiential learning.” 

Otterbein has a long history of questioning the status quo of education. Founded in 1847 as a liberal-arts institution, Otterbein was one of the nation’s first universities to welcome women and people of color to its campus. It is one of the first colleges in the nation founded as a co-education institution enabling women to pursue the same fields of study of their male counterparts. 

The research has been published in Science MagazineInside Higher Education and Science Daily.

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