Foster a love of life-long learning.
Foster a set of tools broadly applicable to any challenge students will face outside of academia. These include critical thinking, the ability to solve problems when facts and theory are incomplete, the ability to work in groups, and the ability to write a good paragraph. These are tools that are highly prized in the workforce, not just in science.
Give students a background in the leading issues of biology balancing facts and theory. Facts without theory are catalogues of information; theory without facts rings hollow.
Instill an appreciation for science as a process, with a history of keen insights, blind alleys, squabbles, debates, and resolutions.
Students learn by doing: by being placed in a supportive environment with a problem, and being allowed to make mistakes toward addressing that problem.
Community Ecology 5413
Principles of Ecology 3403
Senior Capstone 4983:
|Teaching outside the classroom|
|In the 2003-2004 school year, I am a featured scientist in the JASON project's "Tropical rainforests at the cross roads" curriculum. This was an opportunity to teach 1.7 million students from 4-8th grade, via a life feed from Barro Colorado Island. Five 1-hour shows a day for two weeks!
Check out my litter biology for young scientists pages (in development), and stuff we put together for JASON curriculum, including a chapter on the green and brown food web, as well as a lab exercise where 4-8th grade students explore soil biodiversity.
|See what kind of lunacy 5 shows a day can inspire. This is "The Decomposition Skit". You'll need QuickTime to view it.|
|Every August, ant biologists of every stripe get together to teach the Ant Course in some of the most diverse and beautiful places on earth, Cave Creek Canyon in SE Arizona, La Selva Costa Rica, and the rainforests of Northern Queensland, Australia.|
|Dressed in the latest ant-collecting garb, Mike Kaspari supervises ant neophyte Phil Ward.|
|This page was built with support from the National Science Foundation.|
|Author: Mike Kaspari
Last Updated: 29Oct06