Report on Reports

15. Before it's Too Late... 2000 - The National Commission... on Teaching



Make research-based learning the standard

  • Beginning in the freshman year, students should be able to engage in research in as many courses as possible.
  • Beginning in the freshman year, students must learn how to convey the results of their work effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Undergraduate must explore diverse fields to complement and contrast with their major fields; the freshman and sophomore years need to open intellectual avenues that will stimulate original thought and independent effort, and reveal the relationships among sciences, social sciences and humanities.
  • Remove barriers to interdisciplinary education

  • Lower division courses should introduce students to interdisciplinary study.
  • Academic majors must reflect students’ needs rather than departmental interests or convenience.
  • Customizing interdisciplinary majors should be not only possible but also readily achievable.
  • Use information technology creatively

  • Planning for academic units, such as block-scheduled courses for freshman or required courses for individual majors, should include conscientious preparations for exercises that expand computer skills.
  • Active exchange between units on campus and through professional meetings should encourage and inspire faculty to create new computer technologies for teaching and to share ideas about effective computer-based learning.
  • Before It’s Too Late…2000

    Many of the challenges that face STEM leaders focus on pre-service teacher education.

    ...With the intention of…improving K-12 student achievement, policy reports regularly recommend a different approach to teacher preparation, because it has become increasingly apparent that no isolated college, department, or school district can provide the necessary depth of preparation that beginning teachers need. These reports argue that partnerships among colleges of education, colleges of arts and sciences, and public schools are needed for excellence in teacher preparation.
    –PKAL F21 Statement, 2002.