extensive resources for undergraduate chemistry education and has produced a textbook and supporting materials for students not planning to major in chemistry.3 And the American Physical Society sponsors regular meetings of department chairs where issues surrounding undergraduate physics education are discussed.4

Other professional societies also are beginning to examine their role in supporting the improvement of undergraduate education. In 1996, for example, the American Geophysical Union produced the report Shaping the Future of Undergraduate Earth Science Education, which advocates an “earth systems” approach to teaching and learning (Ireton et al., 1996). In 1999, the American Institute for Biological Sciences sponsored a summit of presidents from its 63 member organizations to consider comprehensive approaches to improving undergraduate education in the life sciences.5 In November 1999, Sigma Xi convened a three-day conference on improving undergraduate education in the sciences and mathematics that preceded its annual meeting.6 In 2001, the American Institute of Physics published a compendium of papers from a symposium it had sponsored on the role of physics departments in preparing K–12 teachers (Buck et al., 2000).7

Foundations also have assigned greater importance to learning outcomes. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recently released a new “Millennial Edition” classification system for American higher education institutions, which places greater emphasis on teaching and service after a decades-long focus on research productivity and the number of doctoral degrees awarded (Basinger, 2000; McCormick, 2001).8 The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, in collaboration with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching,9 gives faculty from higher education institutions national recognition for excellence

3  

Additional information about this program is available at <http://www.acs.org/portal/Chemistry?PID=acsdisplay.html&DOC=education/curriculum/context.html>.

4  

See, for example, Undergraduate Education in Physics: Responding to Changing Expectations <http://www.aps.org/educ/conf97/01.Chairs.homepage.html>.

5  

Additional information is available at <http://alidoro.catchword.com/vl=85083249/cl=13/nw=1/rpsv/catchword/aibs/00063568/v50n3/s13/p277l>.

6  

Additional information about this convocation is available at <http://www.sigmaxi.org/forum/1999Forum/forum99.htm>.

7  

Additional information about this symposium is available at <http://www.sigmaxi.org/forum/1999Forum/forum99.htm>.

8  

This new classification system is available at <http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/Classification/index.htm>.

9  

Additional information is available at <http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/>.



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