Teaching Better Science!

An important aspect of this topics is that Science Teaching is traditionally centered on teaching rather than learning. The ruling setup of an omnipotent teacher and a flock of passive pupils is most generally detrimental for the active assimilation of new concepts and the development among students of critical thinking, which is so much needed in a research and development environment.

It seems thus imperative to prepare better the next generation to a multidisciplinary Research and Development environment which is the preferred way to approach the challenging questions emerging in modern Science and Technology.

General Considerations

Better interfaces between mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology teaching at all levels of education (from primary school to graduate research) seem to get a high priority for development. These include:

Shifting the emphasis from teaching to learning, and from disciplinary to holistic by developing

Frame and goals

Establishment of a working program for teachers at university research labs in which they can spend some time on mentored, short-term research projects with scientists and graduate students in complementary fields. This will allow for:

Specifics aims

This frame may host diverse activities, instrumental in reaching the above mentioned goals and for which much experience has accumulated in departments of the Faculty of Sciences at the undergraduate level:

  1. research projects for a teacher in the specific topics of the scientist's lab;
  2. joint development of interactive, introductory hands-on modules in the teacher's field (theory and practice) using complementary input from the scientist, directed towards groups of other teachers;
  3. joint development of similar modules designed for direct implementation and application in high-school classes;
  4. establishment at the university of a common pool for materials, equipment and instrumentation representing the logistic basis to support practice modules in [ii and iii], and serving as a model transferable to schools.

Life Sciences

To my belief, the conventional undergraduate teaching programs in Cell Biology often suffer from over-emphasis on the structural side at the expense of functional and quantitative aspects. The latter are usually treated in general Biochemistry courses which, on the other hand, concentrate on isolated systems and tend to underestimate the role of intracellular dynamic organization in living processes.

Consequently, since these two major fields in modern biology have significantly diverged over the last decade, the average, freshly graduated, biologist often must "evolve" in one of these directions, with no sufficient tools to integrate both the approaches.

Development of an "interface module" between biochemistry and cell/ molecular biology at the undergraduate level. This includes:

Last update: Jan 2000- Claude Aflalo
Suggestions are welcome...