Effective Science Teaching Practices
March 22, 2006
My experience has led me the following concepts with an enduring robustness at the
upper division and graduate levels.
a. To create a professional, one has to provide an environment where
students can experience a professional environment.
b. It is up to the instructor to articulate a vision for the class in terms of
tangible outcomes for students bridging into the world of
employment or higher education.
c. At the upper division and graduate levels, we do not teach nearly as
much as we motivate and maintain motivation.
1. Providing multi-path routes (e.g., lecture, software
approaches, labs, group learning) toward learning
2. Have fun yourself!
3. Be relevant; connected to real projects; meaningful context
d. Have expectations that will prepare students to equal and exceed
employer expectations in a productive work environment.
e. Don’t forget the extremely capable students.
f. Involve graduate students in ways commensurate with their skills and
goals so they can be seen in a positive light.
In the future as time and resources permit, I would enjoy doing some freshman
seminars and some engineering science courses that teach more to the 1st and 2nd year
students. How might the above statements be modified to be appropriate to the 1 st and
2nd year audience?
Ernest W. Tollner, Ph.D., PE.
Driftmier Engineering Center
Biol. & Agr. Engr. Dept.
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602