Gordon E. Uno, a Fulbright Specialist awardee to South Africa and David Ross Boyd Professor of Botany in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma is leading a national project to assess the impact of an American Association for the Advancement of Science report, Vision and Change, that aimed to improve undergraduate biology education.
Uno said, “V&C was developed in 2009 through the efforts of hundreds of scientists and science educators as a guide to teaching a contemporary course in biology – for students majoring in biology.” The original report did not give special attention to undergraduate biology courses for non-science majors.
Now, funded by a $836,111 grant from the National Science Foundation, Uno is leading a study to “improve the scientific literacy of the huge population of students who pass through introductory college-level biology courses each year but who do not seek careers in science,” he said.
Uno has organized a steering committee comprised of faculty leaders from two-year and four-year colleges and universities to assist the project titled "The Improvement of General Education Life Science Courses." During the three-year project, the team will develop two large-scale surveys and plan several major conferences for biologists and biology educators.
“The goals of this national project are to develop a guide for instructors to revise their general education biology classes based on V&C and to create a model of professional development for them that will be used in regional centers across the U.S.,” he said.