Four science faculty members approached this summer with the idea that we were laying a foundation for future SITS summers. We needed to develop a clear strategy that future participants could use to make objective decisions about course design and teaching strategies. We found that the tools to do these things were mostly non-existent. Thus we worked to develop through God’s enabling the tools that are needed. We are grateful for all of you who prayed and gave to make this work possible.
Important progress was made in this summer’s SITS. We have:
- Mapped the logic of science, biology, and chemistry.
- Clearly spelled out how scientists in several different scientific disciplines (biology and chemistry) reason.
- Established the differences between science, engineering, and technology.
- Began introducing faculty members not familiar with concept mapping to this thinking and knowledge organization tool. See this example of a map for a digital electronics class.
- Developed tools to identify and articulate the principles of each discipline and have mapped the principles of both chemistry and biology on several different levels. “Principle mapping” has been exceptionally fruitful in addressing curriculum and classroom priorities.
- Begun to use the principle-based approach to revise several courses.
- Submitted an article for publication in a teaching periodical.
- Had numerous substantive discussions about a biblical philosophy of science and about the scope and impact of a biblical worldview on curriculum and classroom teaching.
- Installed a computer-based Personal Response System in the main science lecture room.
Note: The “Thinking like . . .” charts above are based on a concept developed by Dr. Richard Paul and the Foundation for Critical Thinking (www.criticalthinking.org).