START Model in Science Teaching

START Model in Science Teaching

Eugene de Silva (Virginia Research Institute, USA & MRAS - Walters State Community College, USA) and Eugenie de Silva (University of Leicester, UK & Virginia Research Institute, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9634-1.ch009


This chapter presents a discussion of the START model, which has been internationally recognized as a useful syllabi-tracking system that can be applied to online and on-ground teaching. START, an acronym for “(S)yllabus Analysis (T)racking System Covering Objectives (A)ssessment Methods (R)esearch Component Inclusion, (T)esting Through Research,” is presented in this chapter as a unique method for educators to heighten current academic standards by placing a priority on multidisciplinary approaches. Through this chapter, the authors sought to provide readers with an understanding of the application of the START model in the twenty-first century. Additionally, to further strengthen the presented information, the authors included reflections on past experiences in the application of the model at a university level.
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Multidisciplinary research is slowly, yet steadily becoming the new norm of education and is essentially transforming traditional education. The elegance of multidisciplinary research is highlighted by the opportunity it provides to academics to assess and investigate topics in a more detailed manner than that would be possible if assessing a specific subject as an independent notion. With regard to the presented research, multidisciplinary research played a major role in allowing students to understand the extent to which physics could be applied in their daily lives. Furthermore, the research itself was multidisciplinary in nature due to the blend of research methods, physics, and social media. This model has been further applied to other fields, such as chemistry and other sciences.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Online Teaching: The presentation or teaching of course syllabus or syllabi through a computer system. Learning takes place through the explicit use of technology and computer networking systems.

START Model: Novel syllabi tracking system officially initiated in the United States in 2008 by Professor Eugene de Silva. Acronym: (S)yllabus Analysis (T)racking System Covering Objectives (A)ssessment Methods (R)esearch Component Inclusion, (T)esting Through Research.

Social media: Online forums, websites, applications, and/or any other similar technological resources (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Tumblr) used for online gathering, community discussions, and/or socialization.

Research: The systematic examination of resources to test hypothesis, learn novel information, develop new conclusions about topics, and/or find resolutions to problems.

Teacher-Centered Teaching: Subject knowledge is directly transferred from the instructor (e.g. professor) to the students. Students are passive members of this learning process.

Multidisciplinary Research: The blend of two or more subjects to expand on a topic in a manner that would not be possible through the discussion of only one subject. Multidisciplinary research observes the interrelated nature of two separate subjects, and then highlights the interrelated nature of both through further analysis.

Learner-Centered Teaching: Students learn information by systematically examining the subject and critically assessing the situation. Students are active members of this learning process.

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