Novice Instructors and Student-Centered Instruction: Identifying and Addressing Obstacles to Learning in the College Science Laboratory
We identify and analyze some widespread problems with the implementation of student-centered instruction in introductory college science and mathematics laboratory courses. Specifically, we observe potential problems with interactions between the instructor and individual students, interactions between the instructor and small groups of students, and the instructor’s ability to monitor the learning environment. We describe our underlying assumptions regarding the purpose and nature of student-centered introductory college laboratory course, and analyze the problems that we identify using these assumptions. We provide practical suggestions for dealing with each category of problems.