Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



CBE Life Sci Educ March 2, 2015 14:ar9, pp. 1-12, DOI:10.1187/cbe.14-01-0002.


© 2015 B. A. Couch et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2015 The American Society for Cell Biology. Used by permission.


Over the past several decades, numerous reports have been published advocating for changes to undergraduate science education. These national calls inspired the formation of the National Academies Summer Institutes on Undergraduate Education in Biology (SI), a group of regional workshops to help faculty members learn and implement interactive teaching methods. The SI curriculum promotes a pedagogical framework called Scientific Teaching (ST), which aims to bring the vitality of modern research into the classroom by engaging students in the scientific discovery process and using student data to inform the ongoing development of teaching methods. With the spread of ST, the need emerges to systematically define its components in order to establish a common description for education researchers and practitioners. We describe the development of a taxonomy detailing ST’s core elements and provide data from classroom observations and faculty surveys in support of its applicability within undergraduate science courses. The final taxonomy consists of 15 pedagogical goals and 37 supporting practices, specifying observable behaviors, artifacts, and features associated with ST. This taxonomy will support future educational efforts by providing a framework for researchers studying the processes and outcomes of ST-based course transformations as well as a concise guide for faculty members developing classes.

Included in

Biology Commons