Undergraduate Research in the Sciences: Engaging Students in by Sandra Laursen, Anne-Barrie Hunter, Elaine Seymour, Heather

By Sandra Laursen, Anne-Barrie Hunter, Elaine Seymour, Heather Thiry, Ginger Melton

Undergraduate study (UR) is largely believed to augment the educational event of scholars in technological know-how, expertise, engineering, and arithmetic courses. this can be the 1st finished, functional, research-based e-book on undergraduate learn. It addresses how the advantages to UR individuals come up; compares some great benefits of UR with different different types of academic actions or event; the long term worth of UR; and extra. meant to help either latest and new UR practitioners with software layout and review wishes, the e-book can be priceless to the broader neighborhood of lecturers, policy-makers, and funders of UR courses.

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The Boyer Commission (2002) offers the lower estimate that one-fifth of science and engineering students at research universities engage in UR. Results of the National Survey of Student Engagement indicate that 19 percent of all undergraduates participate in research with faculty (Kuh, 2008), including 39 percent of those with majors in the biological and physical sciences (American Council of Learned Societies, 2007). While Kuh’s (2008) averages across broad institutional types and student characteristics vary surprisingly little, the participation rate is in fact quite variable from one school to another—higher at many smaller schools where faculty lead UR for their own students and lower where no on-campus opportunities are available.

Thus, UR may be seen by funders, institutional leaders, and faculty developers as a path of lesser resistance to change in undergraduate STEM education than is classroom-focused reform. Indeed, a recent survey of members of a discipline-based scientific society, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2008), highlights the seeming paradox that although What Is Undergraduate Research, and Why Does It Matter? 9 faculty placed high value on “undergraduate research and integrative thinking” (p.

7 assess their prevalence, and examine how they come about. We review these studies in detail in Chapter Two. Current National Context for Undergraduate Research In this book, we examine UR at the local level as an educational experience for students and as an educational and scholarly activity of faculty and departments. However, this local practice takes place in a national context of high interest in UR as an educational strategy, influenced by the traditional role of the research apprenticeship in scientists’ education and by growing interest in students’ development of thinking skills important for public science literacy.

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