What Works Statements

PKAL focuses on what works because there is no need to "reinvent the wheel." Best practices in science and technology education in the undergraduate learning environment must be made available to all. Institutions must build on what works in order to institute systemic changes that lead to successful departments. The seven statements below are designed to challenge faculty and administrators to determine what works for them and their colleagues.

What works: PKAL asserts that the most important attribute of strong undergraduate programs is a thriving ‘natural science’ community, an environment where:

  • Learning is experiential and steeped in investigation from the very first courses for all students through capstone courses for students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

  • Learning is personally meaningful for students and faculty, making connections to other fields of inquiry, is embedded in the context of its own history and rationale, and suggests practical applications related to the experience of students.

  • Learning takes place in a community where faculty are committed equally to under graduate teaching and to their own intellectual vitality, where faculty see students as partners in learning, where students collaborate with one another and gain confidence that they can succeed, and where institutions support such communities of learners.

- PKAL Volume I: What Works: Building Natural Science Communities, 1991.