The National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) acknowledges the need to expand and chronicle educational change efforts across the nation. To this end, DUE invites proposals to study the impact of the Vision and Change (V&C) movement in Undergraduate Biology Education. Specifically, this program seeks to support projects that evaluate a combination of factors such as the awareness, acceptance, adoption, and adaptation of V&C principles and outcomes including changes in curriculum, laboratories, and student retention, completion, and learning. Collectively, results of these projects are anticipated to describe the nature and extent of V&Cs use within the undergraduate biology curriculum. The projects could also describe key factors and approaches taken by the V&C community that have the potential to be useful for improving undergraduate education in other scientific disciplines or in interdisciplinary STEM education.
Advances in the frontiers of biology and educational research have enabled the biological sciences communities to explore effective teaching approaches and promote student learning (NRC 2003, 2009). Key stakeholders of these communities were energized to revise and revitalize biology education and to launch the V&C movement (AAAS 2011, 2015, 2018). It is now time to examine the roles of V&C in the improvements in biology education.
DUE has a long history of promoting systemic improvements in how faculty, departments, and STEM professional societies develop and apply innovations in undergraduate STEM education. As summarized by Levers for Change (AAAS, 2019), most successful efforts have been focused on specific STEM disciplines. NSF is interested in exploring potential relationships between the V&C principles and the current national state of undergraduate biological education, including biological knowledge, concepts, and science process skills. This program description is a call for proposals to analyze the breadth and fidelity with which V&C principles were implemented and the resulting effects on students. Proposal budgets should be commensurate with the scope and scale of the proposed work and level of effort.
Although the list below is by no means exhaustive, proposals of interest include projects that aim to examine one or more of the following areas:1) Analyses of the nature, extent of use, and influence of the V&C principles on undergraduate biology education across multiple institutions and/or biological disciplines; 2)Investigations of how V&C influences faculty to change their teaching strategies and learning approaches, content and curriculum, and their expectations of students; 3) Examinations of changes in students conceptual understanding, skills, and competencies; determination of how these gains impact science self-efficacy, retention, and graduation rates, as well as diversity and inclusion in biological sciences; and analyses of potential causation and/or correlation of these outcomes with V&C principles; 4)Determinations of how V&C has impacted professional societies and engaged them in undergraduate biology education, setting standards, providing vetted educational resources, engaging students in both research and education, enhancing professional development, and implementing standards of recognition or status for educators.