Student Expectations, University Goals: Looking for Alignment in General Education Science




Ericson, Rebecca J.

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This action research dissertation explores the alignment of university goals, faculty practice, and student expectations for general education natural science courses as a first step to understanding how best to restructure the program to ensure that students are learning in alignment with university stated goals for this aspect of their education. A survey of general education natural science goals checks alignment of goals at George Mason University with goals for similar programs at a range of higher education institutions. Interviews with faculty teaching general education natural science and focus groups with students who have taken required natural science courses yield areas where goals do and do not align and provide perspective on goals and expectations held by those teaching and taking the courses. The results should prove useful to an ongoing effort at the University to evaluate and improve general education natural science.



Science education, Goals, Liberal arts, Alignment, General education, Scientific literacy