New York University proposes to develop a novel program of science and math education for nonscience students. The "Foundations of Scientific Inquiry" (FSI), a math/science curriculum which was initially developed for NYU's liberal arts students, will be adapted to meet the needs of other undergraduate student bodies. The impetus for this project is the need to give these nonscientists a basic understanding of the conduct of science and a familiarity with quantitative, analytical reasoning that will allow them to function effectively as responsible citizens in a highly technological world. Project objectives are to: l)Improve the scientific and technical literacy of nonscience students, particularly student teachers, who as a group are seriously under prepared for science teaching; 2)Catalyze institution-wide reform and engage university faculty from diverse undergraduate preprofessional programs in a productive dialogue about the role of science in undergraduate education; 3)Develop a model program relevant to a range of student bodies and educational institutions. The FSI curriculum presently consists of a 3-course sequence that integrates physical, biological and mathematical sciences. Each course is modular and interdisciplinary, with each module drawing from several areas of science and illustrating the nature of scientific reasoning. This project will modify the curriculum to suit the interests, levels of preparedness, and programs of study of diverse student bodies. Project outcomes will include teaching materials, including instructor lecture texts, student workshop exercises, and computer-based educational materials tailored to a range of audiences. The intent is to export the NYU experience through institutional partnerships with the public higher education system, small liberal arts colleges, predominantly black colleges, and teacher training programs. The modular, flexible nature of the project and the availability of published curricular materials mean that the curriculum is easily portable and easily adapted to the student body and training program.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Program Officer
Lee L. Zia
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New York University
New York
United States
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