About V & C: Chronicling the Changes

AAAS Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: Chronicling the Changes

Reports, such as Vision and Change and the many that preceded and followed it [Biology 2010, the 2012 report of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST, 2012), the 2012 NRC report on discipline based education research (NRC, 2012)] have emerged over the years and generated needed momentum for Transforming Undergraduate Education in Biology.  The subsequent ripples of concern about the state of undergraduate biology education have resulted in some good ideas and exciting projects that could serve as examples of what works and why; but, there is a pressing need for a coordinated follow-up effort to:

  • Chronicle outcomes of the report and the initiative;
  • Document the trajectory of change following the report; and
  • Identify a set of exemplars of how the community accomplished the changes needed in a variety of institutions.

Towards this end AAAS and its partners and advisors are conducting a series of on-line activities that will culminate in the second conference on Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology: Chronicling the Changes. The series of on-line activities is open to the entire biology community and includes (a) submission of abstracts describing your efforts and outcomes to promote change in undergraduate biology education and (b) an on-line survey to be conducted later this coming spring.  The invitation only conference will be held in Washington, DC on August 28-30, 2013. Partners Include the National Science Foundation (NSF), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI); the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Division of Training, Workforce Development and Diversity (TWD); and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

NIH, HHMI, and NSF have also partnered to launch the PULSE (Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education) program to stimulate systemic change at the department level based on the recommendations from Vision & Change.  The PULSE Steering Committee, working with the American Institute of Biological Sciences and Knowinnovation Inc., have selected 40 Vision & Change Leadership Fellows who represent research universities, regional or comprehensive universities, liberal arts colleges, and community colleges.  The Fellows are engaged in a yearlong set of activities that are designed to implement strategies for change at the department level.  Information about these activities, including opportunities for input from the broader community, is available at http://www.pulsecommunity.org.

The objectives of both the conference and survey will include:

  • Sharing and learning about innovative strategies that biological sciences departments, faculty, and societies have implemented, as a result of the V&C initiative.
  • Refining tested ideas and strategies and identifying lessons learned for dissemination of innovative ideas in biology undergraduate education throughout the biology community.
  • Identifying challenges to implementing the V&C recommendations for change, including how those challenges were overcome and challenges that still remain.
  • Understanding how faculty and administrators became agents of change at an institutional level.

For more information, please email Yolanda S. George, (ygeorge@aaas.org), AAAS, Deputy Director for Education and Human Resources Programs.