Science educators switching jobs

Jan. 5, 2009 at 2:58 PM
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Jan. 5 (UPI) -- High turnover rates for science faculty at U.S. colleges and universities undermine efforts to boost student retention levels, a report said.

Nancy Pelaez, a Purdue University associate professor of biological sciences, says a recent survey of the California State University system found nearly 40 percent of science facility who specialize in eduction were seriously considering leaving their position.

Pelaez said turnover rate is an important factor in the effort to retain students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

"More than half of entering science majors at universities leave the sciences, and 90 percent of those students complain of ineffective teaching," Pelaez said in a release. "The model of seeding university science departments with faculty who are trained in educational methodology and approaches shows promise for retaining more science majors and developing approaches to reform science education at the K-12 level."

The findings are published in the journal Science.

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