Theses Doctoral

The Frontiers of Science: A Case Study for Understanding Multi-disciplinary Inquiry-Based College Science

Sable, Julia Elizabeth

The purpose of this study was to understand one case of undergraduate inquiry-based science instruction through the words and actions of college science faculty. The case details the progression of curriculum development and implementation of Frontiers of Science. The specific aim of this study was to examine how a team of multi-disciplinary college science faculty created an inquiry-based course, centralized around scientific Habits of Mind, for undergraduate non-science majors. The participants for this study included four faculty instructors.

I found the instructors’ course goals—(a) teaching students how scientists do science, and (b) using multi-disciplinary content to develop students’ content knowledge of the big ideas in science—were consistent with my field observations and the students’ evaluations of their experience in the course. This study also documents novel Communities of Practice (CoP) within the science faculty and Science Teaching Fellows (STFs). Cognitive Apprenticeship occurred between the faculty to the more novice STFs and helped to increase pedagogical skills as well as refine formal and informal assessments. This study is the one of first to document college science instructors centering their instruction around the scientific Habits of Mind to teach multidisciplinary science content in both large lecture format (500+ students) and smaller seminars (20 students) using inquiry-based activities.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Science Education
Thesis Advisors
Mansah, Felicia M.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 20, 2021