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Integrating Science, Technology, and Mathematics

Structure of the Course

under construction
It often happens that a student may change a major because of exposure to a new field through a general education course. That, after all, is the purpose of general education, and the new general education model still requires that all degree-seeking candidates take one semester of a laboratory- based introductory science course.

However, the traditional science course for general education isn't the only model available, and probably isn't the best model for the non-science major. One must recognize that the ideal underlying general education requirements is to give the liberal arts student an opportunity to explore all the traditional academic disciplines. To that end, a typical learning objective for most introductory courses is that the student learn to "appreciate" or "enjoy" the subject. Submersing a student in content is often contrary to this goal.

For example, although one could claim a detailed analysis of a corporation's income tax statement would help a student understand the intricacies of the accountancy, it is doubtful that such an exercise would engender positive emotions in a person with only a cursory interest in accounting.

For this reason, the Science, Technology, and Mathematics course should be taught in a nontraditional format in order to enhance student learning, retention, and appreciation compared to the traditional model. The use of non-traditional teaching methods do not, however, mean that there are no clear objectives and goals. If the instructors of a course don't have a clear vision of their instructional goals, then, first, it will be impossible to determine if those goals have been met; and second, it is very probable that those goals will never be met.