Jean Dickey


Contact Information

307 Long Hall
Phone: 864 656-3827
FAX: 864 656-3839

Research Interests

  • I spent my first 12 years at Clemson (1984-1997) as the coordinator for our two-semester general biology laboratories (103 and 104), which then enrolled approximately 1200 students in 65 or more lab sections each semester. During that time I created numerous new lab exercises and wrote new lab manuals for the courses. In addition, I developed various instructional and organizational tools to help me cope with the demands of supervising an ever-changing cast of 35 or teaching assistants per semester. John Cummings (Biology), Melanie Cooper (Chemistry), and I also developed materials for training TAs to teach that are still being requested and used by universities across the country. In projects spanning several years, Bob Kosinski and I received nearly half a million dollars in funding from FIPSE and NSF to develop and pioneer a new way of teaching labs that involved student-designed investigations and written and oral communication. These projects led to a contract for me to write an "investigative" lab manual for Benjamin Cummings, a national leader in introductory biology publishing. The second edition of the lab manual was published last year.
  • Meanwhile, I continued an interest in elementary science that began with teaching courses for in-service teachers. Because physical, earth, and life sciences are all covered in elementary grades, Clemson offers a series of one-semester science courses designed for elementary education majors. For two years I team-taught the life science course with another member of the Biology Program and have taught the course myself since she made a permanent move to administration in 1997. Along the way I have used different methods of reaching and teaching this group of students and have created many laboratory experiences for them.
  • Currently my main interest is instructional development for our general education courses, Biology 101/102, which are intended for non-science majors. In my iterations of these courses since their inception in 1998, I have shifted focus from the traditional "principles of biology" presentation to basing the content more in issues and themes. At present I am writing a textbook to support similar courses across the country.
Jean Dickey