Last Friday, March 16, 2012, I attended a workshop, “How Stories Teach,” on integrating cases studies into science education to internationalize curriculum, sponsored by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) International Programs office, along with the UW’s Division of Information Technology’s Engage program.
Coming from a background in radio, I am keenly aware of the power of storytelling and was interested in its application to teaching science. I was not disappointed in the least.
It is not an easy time to be an educator in Wisconsin, so it was reinvigorating to to hear about concrete examples of what passionate instructors in the sciences across campus are doing to make science accessible and heighten critical thinking skills in students. In her opening, CALS Dean Kathryn VandenBosch reminded attendees of our mandate to prepare students for the realities of the twenty-first century economy where they will need to work in internationalized and/or multicultural settings. The question is, how do we help our students move in these directions? VandenBosch’s answer, tell them stories and think about innovative teaching methods.