posted April 6, 1999

Biology Teachers to Meet

Hope College will give high school and college biology teachers from around the country a chance to compare notes during a conference running Friday-Saturday,  April 16-17.

          A total of 39 high school and college educators
  will attend the event, titled "Forging a Link:  A Conference
  on Common Interests."  The conference is designed to enable
  those attending to think about needs held in common by high
  school biology teachers and college teachers of introductory
  biology.
          "High school and college teachers face some common
  challenges in the face of the continually expanding amount
  of biological knowledge and the development of national
  standards for science education," said Dr. Donald Cronkite,
  who is the conference organizer and a professor of biology
  at Hope.  "High school and college faculty have intellectual
  resources to offer each other.  The training and experience
  of each can enhance that of the other."
          "The long term goal for this conversation is that
  these teachers will form networks and partnerships for
  continuing to seek common solutions," he said.  "It is hoped
  that these linkages will serve as models and foster such
  cooperation in other academic communities as well."
          Topics will include what should be taught in the
  time available, how teaching and assessment knowledge can be
  shared with college teachers by high school teachers, and
  how research knowledge can be shared with high school
  teachers by college faculty.  Cronkite noted that he will
  consider the event a success if the group identifies "one
  good idea" for strengthening the link between high school
  and college teaching, and devises a plan for implementing
  it.
          The high school teachers are coming from as far
  away as Florida, Washington, Arizona and Maryland, and as
  nearby as Illinois and Ohio.  In addition to Hope, the 19
  colleges represented include the University of Chicago in
  Illinois, Howard University in Washington, D.C., Erskine
  College in Due West, S.C., Juniata College in Huntingdon,
  Pa., and Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, W.Va.
          The conference is funded through the "Award for
  the Integration of Research and Education" (AIRE) that Hope
  received from the National Science Foundation in the fall.
  The $500,000 grant is supporting several projects, including
  such conferences for teachers from around the country, in
  addition to other workshops that will be geared toward
  teachers from West Michigan.