Event Details

Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) Forum I: Preparing the Future STEM Faculty: Sharing Successful Strategies
Host:
Sponsor:
Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL)
Location:
Madison, WI
Date(s):
November 5, 2003 - November 6, 2003
Abstract/Description:
Sustainable Scalable Systemic Faculty Development The BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium has organized and led over a hundred Faculty Development workshops for groups of ten to forty STEM faculty from around the U.S. and about two dozen foreign countries. Workshops last from four days to two weeks and have been offered for the past eighteen years. Participants are challenged to experience science curriculum reform that requires investigative, collaborative, quantitative, and communicative skills. Over the course of a workshop, they spend roughly one third of their time working as a student, a professor of a single course, and a curriculum developer. Each professor/participant is asked to peer review curricular materials (simulations, problems, investigative cases) that have been designed through research and vetted in multiple classrooms and laboratories around the nation. We believe that networking, collaboration, and peer review are crucial to faculty development, to the development of materials that are transferable, scalable across different class and institutional size with students from diverse age, class, and ethnic backgrounds, sustainable for many years, and capable of achieving systematic reform at the national level. Most science faculty find classroom and laboratory education very different from their research lab experiences and culture; therefore, we invoke a similar environment of shared, collective work which is actively debated, reviewed, and published in peer communities. We focus on the development of materials that are designed to help students learn long-term strategies of research, rigorous quantitative skills, and an understanding of cultural values of publication, priority, and peer review. While we share a common pedagogical philosophy based on problem posing, problem solving and peer persuasion, we encourage participants to develop distinct approaches to instantiating such learner-centered curricula relevant and appropriate to their contexts. We deliberately recruit and select participants from the beginning, middle, and senior periods of their teaching/scientific careers so that mentoring and cross-cohort exchange is encouraged. Finally, the network is maintained by actively writing letters of recommendation for retention, tenure, promotion, awards, mobility, and grants. The perseverance of the Consortium is crucial to community members who are taking considerable risks when they experiment extensively in their teaching; the presence of colleagues who are supportive is important. Sustainability is not just a matter of maintaining a good working relationship with funders, but is also a function of providing a viable, valuable service that continues to be germane to the needs of participants as they progress through their career, that sustains peer support, and empowers them as future leaders in curriculum development.
Host Organization's Web Site:
http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/cirtl/Forum2003/
BioQUEST Staff Attending:
John Jungck

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