In the United States, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other stakeholders have called for transformation in undergraduate biology education via the Vision and Change report. The core message of the Vision and Change initiative is a focus on student-centered learning with students as active participants. Some of the key features of this initiative are: i) ensuring that courses are outcome oriented, inquiry driven, and relevant; ii) providing research experiences for all students; iii) using multiple forms of instruction; and iv) giving students ongoing, frequent, and diverse types of feedback.
The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) has developed the Transforming Education in Plant Biology (TEPB) program to help put these recommendations into practice via development of new instructional materials in plant biology aligned with the ASPB core concepts in plant biology. TEPB is particularly well suited to faculty who are planning to build or revise courses or curricula in order to incorporate evidence-based methods of teaching and learning.
TEPB has three parts.
First, the program provides financial support for the awardee to participate in focused, substantive, and practical professional development. Applicants select either from one of the multi-day professional development opportunites listed below or propose a different program that fits with the recommendations of Vision and Change.
- National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
- National Academies Summer Institutes on Undergraduate Education
- Problem-Based Learning workshop at the University of Delaware
Second, following the professional development experience, the awardee submits a report describing the instructional materials they plan to create. Information required in the post-training report is provided in the full RFP. The instructional materials must be directly related to plant biology.
Third, within the following year, the awardee develops the educational materials and then submits these materials to the ASPB Education Committee. By accepting TEPB funds, the awardee agrees to allow dissemination of their educational materials using Plantae or other channels. Awardees should include funds in their budget to defray costs associated with attending the annual ASPB meeting to present their work product. Awardees may be invited to participate in the Education Booth and should submit an abstract to present a poster and/or talk in the Education Concurrent session.
TEPB awardees will receive up to $4500 (reimbursable or direct-pay to professional development program) for registration and travel to the professional development program and to the ASPB annual meeting.