Structure and function relationships in the educational expectations of professional societies across the STEM disciplines

TitleStructure and function relationships in the educational expectations of professional societies across the STEM disciplines
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsYoho, R, Urban-Lurain, M, Merrill, J, Haudek, K
JournalJournal of College Science Teaching
Volume47
Start Page24
Issue6
Type of ArticleJournal Article
AbstractThe concept of structure and function is a fundamental example of a crosscutting concept found in the educational reform documents in multiple STEM disciplines. However, the terms structure and function are words used in everyday language, and their use in various disciplines may be a source of lexical ambiguity for students. Discipline-specific professional societies often define pathways of research dissemination as well as the educational expectations for students pursuing a career path related to their discipline. We investigated 16 professional societies’ educational expectations related to structure and function, revealing the presence of multiple discipline-specific disambiguations. As a conservative estimate, the professional societies studied cover the collective interests of at least half of a million practitioners of these disciplines and represent the areas of biology, microbiology, biochemistry and molecular biology, ecology, botany, physiology, chemistry, mathematics, statistics, engineering, and physics. The nature of this crosscutting concept and its discipline-specific uses are a potential learning challenge for students. This work provides an overview of the use of structure and function in multiple STEM disciplines from which instructors can contextualize their teaching.
URLhttp://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/4/jcst18_047_06_24

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (DUE grants: 1438739, 1323162, 1347740, 0736952 and 1022653). Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.