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Sally Hoskins

Faculty and Staff Profiles

Sally Hoskins

Professor Hoskins is on sabbatical in academic year 2010-2011, and will not be back until September 2011.

MR614 (office) | MR607 (lab)
Marshak Science Building
Phone Number: 
212-650-8213 (office)
Secondary Phone: 
212-650-8573 (lab)
Personal Website: 
View my website >>

Dr. Hoskins’ interests are developmental neurobiology and the teaching/learning of science.  With NSF support, she is currently testing intensive analysis of primary literature (journal articles) coupled with email interviews of paper authors as a way to demystify and humanize science for undergraduates at CCNY and beyond.


Ph.D. in Biology, University of Chicago, 1982
B.S. in Biology, University of Illinois (Urbana), 1975

Courses Taught

Biology 10100 - Introduction to Biology
Biology 31600 - Development and Evolution
Biology 35500 - Introduction to Analysis of Scientific Literature Using CREATE
Biology 37500 - Developmental Biology
Biology 37900 - Development of the Nervous System
Science 10001 - Man and Nature: Life

Research Interests

Professor Hoskins is a developmental biologist interested in the development of neural specificity and in how best to design teaching approaches that promote student learning and retention of understanding.  Her recent work has focused on the C.R.E.A.T.E. project, an approach developed at CCNY with National Science Foundation support.  The C.R.E.A.T.E. (Consider, Read, Elucidate hypotheses, Analyze data, and Think of the next Experiment) approach uses intensive analysis of primary literature (journal articles) as the focus of a an elective course for upper level undergraduates.  Students read series of papers from individual labs to examine the arc of an evolving research project, and avoid abstracts and discussion sections in favor of close and critical examination of experimental design, methods, data presented, interpretations, models, alternative explanations, and possible directions for followup experiments.  Late in the semester students communicate with paper authors via an email survey posing their own questions, thus gaining unique insight into 'the people behind the papers'.  This method produces gains in students' critical thinking ability, content understanding, attitudes toward science and epistemological beliefs.

With ongoing support from the National Science Foundation "Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science" program, the method is currently being expanded to a nationally distributed group of 4 and two year colleges and universities, through intensive faculty development workshops to be run in summer 2012 and 2013, with co PI Dr. Kristy Kenyon (Colleges of Hobart and William Smith). The C.R.E.A.T.E. process provides students with transferable approaches to reading and analysis that can be applied to any science reading.  At the same time, the approach shifts students' attitudes about the creativity of scientific research and about their own potential as scientists.


Recent Publications:

Hoskins, S., (2011) Teaching science for understanding. In: Science and the Educated American: A core component of liberal education. American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, MA. Chapter 8, pp. 151-179.

Hoskins, S.G., (2010) Developing critical reading and analysis skills by analyzing newspaper science using C.R.E.A.T.E. In press, The American Biology Teacher, 72(7), 415-420

Hoskins, S.G., Stevens, L.M. (2009) Learning our L.I.M.I.T.S. Less is more in teaching science. Advanc. Physiol. Edu. 33: 17-20.

Hoskins, S., (2008) Using a Paradigm Shift to Teach Neurobiology and the Nature of Science - a C.R.E.A.T.E.-based Approach. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education 6(2):A40-A52.

Hoskins, S., Stevens, L., and Nehm R. (2007) Selective Use of primary Literature Transforms the Classroom into a Virtual Laboratory. Genetics 176 1381-1389.

Morales, J, Chiu,H., Oo, T., Plaza, R., Hoskins, S. and Govind, S. (2005) Biogenesis, structure, and immune-suppressive effects of virus-like particles of a Drosophila parasitoid, Leptopilina victoriae. J. Ins. Physiol 51(2) 181-195

Additional Information

Links (coming up summer 2011)

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