About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7236-7241
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

AN INTEGRATED ANALOGY THEMATIC MODEL FOR PROMOTING INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION

P. Tomkins1, K. Murphy2

1Athlone Institute of Technology (IRELAND)
2Daemen College (UNITED STATES)
The authors have recently completed a four year project, supported by the US-EU Atlantis program, involving 6 partner institutions (3 U.S. and 3 EU) in undergraduate international science education. The project involved a one-semester international exchange of students majoring in science. The students undertook coursework in traditional areas of science, coupled with study of the application of various aspects of biotechnology to chronic wound care management. Chronic wound care management is a pressing international problem that also requires a multidisciplinary approach to understand possible treatment routes. The science of wound healing involves aspects of biotechnology in cellular biology and biochemistry, molecular biology, materials chemistry, and bio-engineering along with clinical practice. With this unifying issue, the project partners were able to exemplify the diversity of scientific and international approaches of a shared health care problem to their students. Through a combination of a common joint course on the science of wound healing, selected coursework and, where possible, participation in undergraduate research projects, the students were able to apply basic science principles from their standard curriculum to an international healthcare issue, and obtain a better understanding of the contributions of disciplines other than their own to this unifying theme. We successfully developed a core area of material, offered in a centralized fashion via Blackboard, and a course strategy that would allow each lecturer(s) at the six different host institutions to offer an individualized interdisciplinary scientific view of the wound healing process.

Key findings included: Students exchanged in their third year of study seemed to get the most out of the experience and found their view toward the study of science altered from what they had before the experience. It is often easier to “tack on” the international experience to a largely complete EU or US education, by having students exchanged in their last year of study. However, that approach may not affect the student’s viewpoint of their educational goals and the benefit of the international experience nearly as much. Exchanging students in science is a challenge, as the curriculum is sequenced but another complicating feature is that the approach to science education in the classroom, particularly at the small private US institutions, is markedly different in the U.S. versus that in the EU, even for the same disciplines. This requires an adjustment by both the US and EU students, but it more strongly impacts the EU students transferring to the US. In many exchange programs, emphasis is placed on developing adequate cultural preparation for the students before the exchange experience, but it may be just as important to recognize that the students will also experience a dramatic shift in pedagogy in the classroom. If international education in science is to expand to involve many more students it may become very important to develop strategies to prepare students for new learning approaches. In addition, it is important that faculty realize the adjustment the students are going through in their classes. Increasing the level of understanding will not only produce better strategies for the international student, but also make potential collaborations of the faculty in educational experiences easier.
@InProceedings{TOMKINS2009ANI,
author = {Tomkins, P. and Murphy, K.},
title = {AN INTEGRATED ANALOGY THEMATIC MODEL FOR PROMOTING INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {7236-7241}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Tomkins AU - K. Murphy
TI - AN INTEGRATED ANALOGY THEMATIC MODEL FOR PROMOTING INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 7236
EP - 7241
ER -
P. Tomkins, K. Murphy (2009) AN INTEGRATED ANALOGY THEMATIC MODEL FOR PROMOTING INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 7236-7241.
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