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Testing the Boundaries of Teaching Science

The students are enrolled in Princeton's Integrated Science Curriculum (ISC), a three-year-old effort to dramatically reorganize the manner in which scientific ideas are introduced to students. The goal is to prepare graduates for careers in a scientific world that requires a new level of expertise: next-generation scientists who have mastered their own discipline and can work closely with specialists from other fields to solve problems as a team.

"Everyone knows there's a problem with introductory science education," said David Botstein, director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics and one of the ISC's creators. "Any budding researcher needs a foundation in several fields to be able to work on the most important problems confronting scientists today, but it's hard to do that from the outset. Providing that foundation has required us to create an entirely new set of courses run by faculty from across all these disciplines. It's a stretch for the teachers as much as the students, because even we are still figuring out what it means to teach the relationships among our fields." Read More

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