4
Promoting Effective Instruction at Departmental and Institutional Levels

This chapter explores how effective instruction, as defined in Chapter 3, can be promoted within a university culture that is otherwise dedicated primarily to research and the advancement of science. It examines how the personality traits of individual faculty and the characteristics of organization, governance, and incentive structures of departments and institutions are related to teaching and instructional programs. It also considers qualities that serve as barriers to implementation of effective instruction. Six presenters at the workshop discussed these characteristics and qualities and offered strategies to promote more effective instruction. Expanded summaries of their presentations as well as additional ideas and cautions put forward by participants during plenary discussions are detailed within this chapter.

UPGRADING THE CURRENT CULTURE

The current culture of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) departments in most research-intensive (Research I and Research II) universities embodies the principles of the scientific disciplines represented. This is a culture that values the activities that lead to cutting-edge research: intense concentration on laboratory or field investigations, obtaining the grants needed to support that research, and training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to extend it. As noted by Merton (1957), “On every side the scientist is reminded that it is his role to advance knowledge…. Recognition and esteem accrue to those…who have made genuinely original contributions to the common



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4 Promoting Effective Instruction at Departmental and Institutional Levels This chapter explores how effective instruction, as defined in Chapter 3, can be promoted within a university culture that is otherwise dedicated primarily to research and the advancement of science. It examines how the personality traits of individual faculty and the characteristics of organization, governance, and incentive structures of departments and institutions are related to teaching and instructional programs. It also considers qualities that serve as barriers to implementation of effective instruction. Six presenters at the workshop discussed these characteristics and qualities and offered strategies to promote more effective instruction. Expanded summaries of their presentations as well as additional ideas and cautions put forward by participants during plenary discussions are detailed within this chapter. UPGRADING THE CURRENT CULTURE The current culture of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) departments in most research-intensive (Research I and Research II) universities embodies the principles of the scientific disciplines represented. This is a culture that values the activities that lead to cutting-edge research: intense concentration on laboratory or field investigations, obtaining the grants needed to support that research, and training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to extend it. As noted by Merton (1957), “On every side the scientist is reminded that it is his role to advance knowledge…. Recognition and esteem accrue to those…who have made genuinely original contributions to the common

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stock of knowledge” (p. 642). As documented in a recent NRC report, the culture that rewards research productivity more than teaching effectiveness has changed little on many campuses in the past half century (2003). Little wonder then that those educational reformers who advocate that faculty enlarge their priorities to include major improvements in undergraduate teaching have met resistance. At present, faculty members are likely to face significant disincentives to learn new teaching approaches and reformulate an introductory course: it requires a large investment of time, it is a distraction from the focus on research, and their investment may not be rewarded. In the NRC report Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology (1999), the Committee on Undergraduate Science Education suggests a four-point effort to reformulate faculty incentives. The recommended reformulation would encourage faculty to learn new effective approaches to teaching such as those outlined in Chapter 3 of the present volume and to develop new courses based on such knowledge. That report includes the following recommendations: (1) Administrators should provide faculty with the resources required for consultation with colleagues and education experts; (2) Funds must be made available to faculty for such efforts—a centralized fund for educational improvement in the dean’s office can send a powerful message regarding a change in departmental values; (3) Departmental committees, deans, and provosts should consider efforts by faculty who engage students in learning-centered courses as important activities in matters of tenure, promotion, and salary decisions; and (4) Time spent in redesign of introductory courses or in research focused on teaching and learning a discipline should be considered as evidence of a faculty member’s productivity as a teacher-scholar. ACHIEVING INSTITUTIONAL REFORM To accomplish such recommendations as listed above, participants explored what individual faculty members could do to advance effective science instruction within the culture of their departments and institutions. They also examined what efforts would be needed by administrators and national organizations to promote effective STEM instruction.

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Influencing Characteristics of Faculty The circumstances described above led to the concerns of two workshop speakers—Susan Millar, University of Wisconsin, and Elaine Seymour, University of Colorado—both of whom chose to explore why, in the face of the well-documented research-oriented culture of university departments, do some faculty nonetheless become educational innovators? These faculty then model effective instruction and may have direct or indirect influence on colleagues who teach currently and students who may choose to become science faculty, either at the K–12 level or in higher education. Characteristics of Faculty Who Become Instructional Innovators Susan Millar, University of Wisconsin In her presentation Effecting Faculty Change by Starting with Effective Faculty, Millar outlined characteristics of faculty who are successful in introducing innovative programs of effective STEM instruction. (Refer also to her paper in Appendix A.) During the last decade, Millar has served as external evaluator for numerous STEM education reform efforts. She identified faculty within these programs who showed sincere concern for students’ learning and took actions to change the curriculum to address barriers that were interfering with learning. On that basis, Millar classified these faculty members as education innovators, and set out to define their common features. After extended discussions about teaching and learning with her subjects and with other educators whom she used to supplement her analysis, sets of characteristics began to emerge and fell into four topical areas: the change processes, interactions with students and colleagues, learning and teaching, and course materials. General qualities. Millar first identified general personality features that are characteristic of STEM education faculty innovators but are also characteristic of innovators in general. They tend to be risk takers and hard workers, and individuals who are responsible about commitments, inspired by a sense of mission, savvy and persistent about obtaining resources, and proud of doing a good job for their constituents. She noted that charisma was not necessarily among these characteristics. Interactions with colleagues and students. Starting with their interactions with students and colleagues, she outlined the defining characteristics specific to STEM education faculty innovators (for further elaboration, see Millar’s paper in Appendix A):

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Their identity as scholars does not depend on placing themselves above other faculty members, academic staff, graduate students, or undergraduates. They find great pleasure in seeing students learn. They view students not as “outsiders” but as less experienced potential peers and thus develop trust within their classrooms. They trust undergraduate students and seek ways to give them decision-making power. They view graduate teaching assistants as full members of the team and are eager for their input and feedback. Millar questioned the extent to which faculty could be mentored to learn and develop these characteristics. Alan Kay, Viewpoints Research Institute, Inc., countered by describing his experience with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) community, which developed the Internet in the 1960s. Many of his colleagues in the group displayed these characteristics initially, and as the community grew and persisted, new participants took on similar traits as a result, seemingly, of the interaction with the group. Sarah Elgin, Washington University, added that in fact many of the characteristics listed had been described and modeled for her as part of her graduate training at the California Institute of Technology, mentioning in particular the influence of Max Delbruck in the biology department. Millar took note of these examples of developed characteristics as a result of interactions with students and colleagues. Attitudes toward learning and teaching. Millar cited additional characteristics that pertain to learning and teaching, which she felt faculty could develop more easily with experience: They hold the conviction that good teaching demands ongoing creative effort. They experience teaching as intellectually exciting and as an opportunity to learn that is no less engaging than the scholarship they pursue in their STEM discipline. They understand that learning depends on feeling puzzled, perturbed, and curious, and on tolerating ambiguity. They seek to provide course materials and an environment that pushes the students to do the thinking and to “learn to learn.” They believe that learning entails a constant moving back and forth between “practice” and “beliefs.” Effective instruction develops from trying things, reflecting on their effect, trying new

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things, and finding ways to interact with colleagues. They find that student learning entails reflection through genuine dialogue with senior peers, other students, and one’s self. They tend to select assessment methods that match their learning objectives, and to use them more to determine their students’ preconceptions and concerns and less to grade them, thereby opening up opportunities for feedback. They want students to go beyond “knowing that” to “knowing how” and “knowing why.” They avoid teaching material that not only the students will never use, but the faculty themselves would never use. Actions toward institutional change. How do such individuals affect the systems within which they are embedded? STEM education innovators, Millar found, try to institutionalize effective educational changes by taking a proactive and pragmatic approach within their spheres of influence. They constantly seek and reflectively use feedback information. Initially, this information is gathered from students and teaching assistants. They reflect on feedback and assess their strategies in discussions with colleagues. To effect greater change, they engage purposively with peer learning communities and, eventually, with networks of people who are engaged in similar efforts and pursuing similar strategies. Millar noted that education innovators often discover the literature of research on learning and teaching and the available networks “in their own time and in their own way”; they often have to develop effective instructional strategies for themselves first. Anticipating the presentations of upcoming speakers, Millar expressed concern about problems that education innovators face from other faculty, who all too often facilitate students’ inclinations to take the “path of least resistance” in obtaining their degrees. Acknowledging Robert Zemsky’s reference to the conservatism of universities as enduring institutions (see his paper in Appendix A), Millar commented that colleagues often serve as barriers to the spread of effective instruction within an institution. Because faculty traditionally enjoy freedom and autonomy and cannot be directed to incorporate specific instructional practices, they often limit reform in education or block it. As a group, faculty tend to selectively embrace whatever change will sustain the status quo. However, because of their autonomy, faculty also cannot be stopped when they decide to implement innovative programs of effective instruction.

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Millar noted that such opportunities for change are already underway in a number of institutions. She left the participants with two propositions to consider regarding innovators’ effect on systems: “As faculty innovators… (1) expand their spheres of influence, they are reshaping and redefining what it is that the ungovernable faculty takes as acceptable norms for educating students…, and (2) The very act of articulating a set of characteristics of the educator innovators helps make visible the ways the innovators among us have contributed to the process of reshaping what it is we take for granted.” Additional traits proposed by workshop participants. After outlining these characteristics, Millar solicited feedback and additional thoughts from the workshop participants to use in revising the characteristics described in her paper (see Appendix A). Several participants1 offered the following ideas to extend the characteristics presented. Effective instructors respect their coworkers at all levels and build an atmosphere of trust between colleagues, teaching assistants, and students. Given such, they tend to visit other instructors’ classrooms to gain ideas from them. They have a willingness to learn. Although they may not have been “born” great teachers, they invest the effort to develop necessary skills, such as communication and collaboration skills, to become effective instructors. Such development can result from dedication to a greater mission to see students learn or through formal mentor programs. The characteristics identified by Millar and other participants do not often exist in entirety in individual faculty members but are present in a continuum among science faculty within effective departments. As a consequence of engagement with instructional improvements, some effective instructors discover gaps in the field of science education research and begin to shift their research responsibilities to disseminate their educational efforts and take steps to justify their education work as scholarship. Innovators’ Qualities That Overcome Resistance to Change Elaine Seymour, University of Colorado Following Millar’s talk, Seymour presented Barriers to Change: Resistance Is the Normative Mode. In her talk, Seymour also identified characteristics 1   The participants providing ideas included Sarah Elgin, Washington University; John Jungck, Beloit College; Priscilla Laws, Dickinson College; M. Patricia Morse, University of Washington; Robert Olin, University of Alabama; Elaine Seymour, University of Colorado; and Robert Zemsky, University of Pennsylvania.

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of classroom innovators, which complemented those of Millar and provided insight into the problems of undergraduate education and appropriate measures for institutionalizing effective instructional strategies. Seymour saw classroom innovators as able to identify and address the dysfunctions of an undergraduate system. The dysfunctions she named were an overreliance on a narrow range of pedagogical tools and an incentive system that emphasizes and provides more rewards for excellence in disciplinary research. The consequences of these priorities, she reported, are: (1) students’ focus on memorizing facts for tests, their distancing behaviors such as low attendance rates, and the absence of long-term learning; (2) continuation of science illiteracy; and (3) loss of potential science majors, particularly students of color and women of all races/ ethnicities. Seymour pointed out that a traditional reaction to these systemic dysfunctions is to blame the students and label them as lazy, ill-prepared, or untrustworthy. Students often appear to be much more engaged in their own social interactions than in a learning community with faculty. Classroom innovators, however, realize that poor student outcomes result in part from systemic effects, and they begin to restructure their curriculum and classrooms. They find ways to reduce the overpacked curriculum and place emphasis on students’ responsibility for their own learning. They strive to build a climate of trust. She noted that students might initially demonstrate resistance to these changes because their long-developed and reinforced study habits and learning strategies no longer work well. Colleagues and/or administrators may take note of such student resistance and shift blame to the innovative instructor. Classroom innovators, therefore, look for ways to support their efforts and build an atmosphere of trust and acceptance among teaching assistants, colleagues, and departments. Seymour reported that innovative educators also enlist researchers, cognitive scientists, and other colleagues in education to provide support for and supply evidence that their intervention is necessary and effective. They document their educational scholarship. They find communities of peers involved in similar education pursuits and strengthen cooperation through face-to-face and online communication, and seek national support for their work through funding and dissemination. They begin to use learning assessment methods that better match their new learning objectives. Seymour identified the Field-tested Learning Assessment Guide (FLAG) as such an assessment (http://www.flaguide.org/). Classroom innovators explore ways to

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make institutional changes by enlisting senior members of their institutions and promoting review of departmental/ institutional tenure criteria and redesign of classroom evaluation instruments. Effective Strategies for Departments and Institutions While individual faculty members can initiate educational innovation as a result of their personal characteristics, the culture of their department and their institution plays a powerful role in enabling or inhibiting the success of such innovation and its expansion to other members of the faculty. This was the issue considered in the presentations of Robert Zemsky, University of Pennsylvania, and a panel of discussants. A Market Approach to Institutional Change Robert Zemsky, University of Pennsylvania According to Zemsky, the key to changing institutional practices in ways that reinforce effective teaching is to understand what motivates institutions. In his presentation On Encouraging Faculty to Pursue Instructional Reform, Zemsky listed several motivational factors. Reasons for change. First, he posited that the “faculty guild” will change only if it feels threatened. He defined the guild as membership in a group that offers independence and autonomy. As long as the independence and autonomy of the guild members are respected, they tend to continue traditional and accepted practices. Second, he noted that if students become better consumers of, and take a vested interest in, their education, they will demand change. Unfortunately, students often express the attitude of “just tell me what I need to know” to get a grade instead of recognizing the value of effective learning. Thus, students may need to be trained as consumers. Third, poor results in measured outputs2 and outcomes incite necessary improvements. Some of the outputs identified by Gloria Rogers, Elaine Seymour, and other workshop participants—such as enrollment numbers, attendance, retention rates, grades, employment statistics, tuition income, funding and contributions, and number of faculty publications—are relatively easy to 2   We have chosen to use the terminology summarized in Chapter 3 by Gloria Rogers, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, to distinguish between outputs and outcomes. Outputs are indicators, often statistical, whereas outcomes refer to the effects. Outcomes reveal what students have learned, what skills they have gained, how publications were cited, and how resources were used.

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collect but may not accurately reflect an institution’s shortcomings in teaching. In that regard, an important outcome that is not as easily assessed (and therefore not often collected) is a measure of student learning. As noted in Chapter 2, evidence is accumulating that traditional lecture-based courses may not result in the expected levels of student learning (Halloun and Hestenes, 1985; Wright et al., 1997; Loverude, Kautz, and Heron, 2002). The realization of failure to educate students as hoped can occasionally have a dramatic impact on instructors and institutions. This is evident in a story related by Zemsky. A science faculty member from a distinguished institution spent two years on the White House staff in the Office of the Presidential Science Advisor. During that time he had the opportunity to talk to two of his own former students who were then congressional staff. During their conversation he realized that, although the students had become accomplished at policy procedures, they did not understand science. He had failed to provide them with the working understanding of science necessary to conduct their jobs as policy makers effectively. Zemsky cited Clark Kerr’s observation (1987) that universities are enduring institutions. In Europe, some seventy have existed in familiar forms with similar functions for centuries. Many see this longevity as evidence of lasting resilience, while others perceive it to be the result of resistance to change. Although Kerr’s appeal to the historic university makes clear that change in the academy is slow, Zemsky accepted the challenge to explore in his presentation some of the options that university presidents, deans, and department chairs have at their disposal to encourage and support their faculty in instructional reform. In his paper (see Appendix A), Zemsky outlines several programs that were able to show evidence of both improved student learning and increased retention of students in the discipline. Illustrating the motivation for some of these reform programs, Zemsky described an effort in the 1980s supported by Dr. Morton Lowengrub, then Dean of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University, to improve mathematics instruction for undergraduates. When asked why he felt such change was needed, Lowengrub referred to mathematics students as an “endangered species.” In this case, the motivation to change was fear of extinction; the department was losing students and needed to invigorate the curriculum to retain them. Medical students are not in short supply, Zemsky noted, but many medical schools have adopted new teaching practices simply to keep up with trends in the field. Self-paced, online learning

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environments and other learner-centered instructional practices have become essential for preclinical courses, as content in the fields has become so extensive that students can no longer absorb and memorize didactically all the information received from instructors. Possible plans. Based on his observations of reformed programs, Zemsky offered advice to those considering instructional change. He noted that recruitment of celebrated instructors would not likely produce desired changes at the institutional level: “Part of what we need to do [to effect change] is create a market for good teaching. And that’s not easy to do, but star teachers aren’t the way to do it.” He directed workshop participants’ attention to two examples of institutions that are considered successful because they have developed their market niche. Hamilton College has gained a widespread reputation among students for its focus on writing and presentation of one’s individual self, while Carleton College is perceived as the place to go to prepare for a career in science while living a simple, environmentally focused lifestyle. He also indicated that changing the tenure rules to reinforce and promote effective teaching would have limited impact because so few faculty would be affected. Instead, according to Zemsky, institutional reform can be achieved more immediately and effectively by acquiring and allocating resources selectively to faculty who are willing to experiment with new, learner-centered modes of instruction. Zemsky cited Barbara Baumstark, an earlier presenter, as an example. She and her colleagues in the Quality in Undergraduate Education (QUE) biology project group at Georgia State University have made great strides in creating explicit learning outcomes for students in their biology program and have also encouraged the department to implement instructional changes designed to achieve those outcomes (see Chapter 2). As Baumstark was already motivated by her participation in the QUE project and dedicated to student learning, she required only modest additional incentives, such as a summer stipend and an extra teaching assistant, to cover the added commitment needed to encourage and mentor her colleagues. Zemsky concluded by encouraging participants to seek external markets, in addition to grants, for resources and funding. External markets may provide funds for science education research3 as well as provide places to experiment with instructional practices. Zemsky 3   See distinction between science research and science education research made in footnote #4, Chapter 2.

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identified three readily available markets that would benefit from science instruction and programs to improve science literacy: primary and secondary schools, corporate groups, and congressional staff. Some university science programs have found “market” support by allying themselves with technology-rich industries. For example, through the San Diego Science Alliance (http://www.sdsa.org/), San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego, have established partnerships with about forty local corporations that hire graduates at the associate in arts and baccalaureate levels in technical positions. Following Zemsky’s presentation, a panel of three experts with experience in governance and incentives at the institutional/departmental level made brief presentations. These were David Brakke, Jack Wilson, and Herbert Levitan. A Team Building Strategy David Brakke, James Madison University Brakke, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, set the stage by outlining some of the institutional actions that are required for any type of change to take place. The first step for a leader, usually an administrator of the department, college, or institution, is to begin asking questions about goals. A common vision must be developed so that efforts can be coordinated, effective, and sustained. Step two must be to identify key players. Brakke listed what he considered to be the characteristics of key people: They must have the ability to collaborate in a team, to communicate effectively, to motivate others, to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses, to manage multiple tasks, and to deal with ambiguity. They must be recognized by their peers as action oriented and trustworthy and as having integrity, courage, perseverance, and strategic ability. Although no individual will likely have all of these characteristics, each key person should possess many of them, and teams should be built to encompass all these characteristics by including individuals with different strengths. Equally important is the identification of future leaders to replace people in the teams, since the efforts must be sustained when individuals move on. Brakke suggested some tactics that institutional leaders might employ to excite individuals to work on such efforts. Starting new programs or expanding existing successful programs often holds attraction for previously uninvolved faculty. The opportunity for collaborative research across departments and perhaps institutions, with colleagues and students, is particularly inviting. Anticipation that such efforts will improve teacher preparation and/or

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education of the public often appeals to those with altruistic motives. Once instructional change teams are established, they need to have conversations within and across departments. Direct involvement should come from every level, from faculty to chair to provost. Common interests and needs should be identified through dialogue and opportunities for connections with other disciplines explored. Michael Zeilik, University of New Mexico, asked the panel members to address how to get individuals in administration, such as chairs and deans, to recognize that a problem even exists. He recalled his own experience with a new department chair who did not believe that a 40 percent decline in students from the department was a problem. Brakke responded that an attitude change would require a number of focused conversations over a period of time. Educational improvement requires experimentation. For instructional reform, that means making decisions based on evidence from rigorous science education research. Data and evidence should be gathered and analyzed to convince colleagues, boards, and presidents of the need for change and possible appropriate actions. Resources to support science education research and reform efforts can include colleagues, consultants, students, faculty networks, and organizations and institutes such as Chautauqua (http://www.chautauqua-inst.org/education.html), the Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) program of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (http://www.aacu-edu.org/SENCER/index.cfm), and Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) (http://www.pkal.org/). Brakke added that institutions also need to invest in teaching faculty and offered some ideas. Upon hiring, initial funds should cover start-up costs for teaching as well as research. Institutions can assist faculty in developing their own plans for professional growth. They can support faculty experiences in science education research through assignments—similar to those in science research (e.g., pre- and post-tenure sabbaticals, internships)—at other institutions to build connections and gather ideas to sustain their reform efforts. Top-Down and Bottom-Up Strategies Jack Wilson, UMassOnline Wilson drew upon his experiences with many educational improvement projects to discuss how people react to change. Extending Zemsky’s comment that change must be top-down, Wilson asserted that it also must be bottom-up. An alliance between individuals at the

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instructional level and those at the institutional level must exist for change to be sustained. Faculty who are capable of sustaining effective change have the ability to make such alliances because they have earned respect from colleagues through traditional science research or other scholarly endeavors. To illustrate how people react to change, Wilson described his experience while dean at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). He acknowledged that undergraduate education often operates under an educational equivalent of the old joke about Russian employment contracts (“They pretend to pay us, we pretend to work”), which Wilson modified to: “We pretend to teach them, they pretend to learn. Nobody asks too many questions, everybody is happy.” From the bottom. Wilson pointed out that when such pioneers in educational research in physics as Laws, McDermott, and Hestenes began asking questions about what students learned from traditional courses (Laws, 1997; McDermott, Shaffer, and the Physics Education Group, 1996; Halloun and Hestenes, 1985), nobody, neither faculty, administration, nor students, was pleased to discover that many students were failing to learn much of lasting quality. However that level of distress is what prompted Wilson to develop the “Studio Physics” program at RPI, which pioneered the use of the studio approach to physics instruction (http://www.rpi.edu/dept/phys/education.html). It took eleven years to bring the program to fruition, during which the positions of president, provost, deans, and chairs at RPI were reassigned many times over. Each time new individuals assumed these posts, Wilson had to convince them that Studio Physics was worth continuing. This ongoing justification became part of the reform effort and some deans became strong proponents of the program. From the top. At one point, the dean of science supplemented the salaries of participating faculty who had become involved, and the effort to expand and adapt the Studio Physics approach for use in other departments was thus supported more readily by faculty within the science division. On the other hand, the dean of engineering was encouraging but offered no tangible support, and the contributions of faculty in that department lagged behind. The restructuring of physics instruction at RPI had a number of positive effects that helped to sustain the program. Restructuring required more faculty to be involved in the curriculum and many developed a vested interest in the program. As the program was modified to include fewer overall

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courses, faculty were forced to examine and justify the material they felt was important to include in each remaining course. Wilson also indicated that their efforts were sustained because they developed an extensive assessment protocol. RPI administrators interviewed and surveyed faculty and students to gather reactions to the studio courses and administered authentic tests of conceptual understanding and problem-solving abilities. To meet state and national interinstitutional standards, traditional midterm and end-of-course exams were used for student grading. These are less sensitive to conceptual understanding, but this had the advantage of demonstrating that students in the program were showing the same or improved performance over students who had been instructed in the original format. The assessments also demonstrated that the studio approach resulted in an improvement in both student and faculty satisfaction with the process. Moreover, developments since have shown that the RPI innovations have had a national impact. Studio Physics has now served as a model for adaptation by other universities, most notably through the Technology-Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) program of studio physics at MIT (http://research.microsoft.com/features/TEAL.asp). In the class. As described on its website and noted in Chapter 2 of this report, the defining characteristics of RPI’s Studio Physics classes are an integrated lecture/laboratory format, a reduced amount of time allotted to lectures, a technology-enhanced learning environment, collaborative group work, and a high level of faculty-student interaction. The Studio Physics environment employs activities, computer tools, and multimedia materials that allow students to actively participate in their own learning and to construct scientific knowledge for themselves. A high priority is placed on allowing students to learn directly from interacting with the physical world through hands-on activities. Fewer graduate teaching assistants, though still a sizable number, were assigned to oversee the studio courses and additional undergraduate assistants were brought in. Some of these teaching assistants were initially resistant to the changes to the overall structure of the course, but in the end most, if not all, enjoyed the studio courses, particularly the opportunity to work in teams with faculty as colleagues. The team-teaching approach was effective as it reduced the occurrence of incorrect instruction (i.e., someone in the team would be able to explain material appropriately and correctly to students) and the demands on any individual. When the studio

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program was fully established, it actually used fewer resources than the traditional format of two faculty members and many graduate teaching assistants per course. Guiding Principles from Granting Agencies Herb Levitan, National Science Foundation (NSF) Consideration of a larger social context—including granting agencies, professional societies, institutions, and faculty—was the concern of Levitan, program director of the Division of Undergraduate Education. His presentation was designed to describe NSF’s response to the problem of promoting innovation in education. Referring to Zemsky’s presentation, Levitan reiterated that for change to occur the following components are needed: agreement that a problem exists, evidence that change will benefit everyone, sufficient time and resources to produce change, and a top-down approach. Since its inception, the mission of NSF has been to support science research and any activities that contribute to its development. The leadership of NSF has long feared that problems in the educational system could lead to a decline in the pool of future researchers and to a failure to make the general public scientifically literate. To address these possibilities, NSF has taken a top-down approach by combining research and education in their programs and grant offerings. Examples include the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program, the Distinguished Teaching Scholars (DTS) program, Biocomplexity in the Environment (BE): Integrated Research and Education in Environmental Systems, and the Graduate Teaching Fellows in K–12 Education (GK–12) program. Moreover, NSF has recently mandated that every proposal for scientific research must be reviewed according to two criteria: “intellectual merit” and “broader impact.” Examples of the latter category emphasize education: Does the research promote teaching, training, and learning? How will it improve science education? Does it include undergraduate or precollege students as participants? Will the results contribute to educational materials or databases? Ramon Lopez, University of Texas, El Paso, offered an example of the effect of this mandate. He is currently co-principal investigator and director for education at a new NSF-funded science and technology center, the Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling (CISM; http://www.bu.edu/cism/), where a large number of activities will be education-related and focused on learning in undergraduate education. Lopez believes that the center would not have incorporated these activities if they had not been mandated by NSF.

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Levitan considered his own ideas for improving science education to be bottom-up. Levitan proposed that educational change could be achieved by applying, to grant-funded projects that integrate education and research, the same four principles that guide scientific research itself: Be original and take risks. The best research is that which builds on the efforts of others, explores unknown territory, and risks failure. Provide opportunities for professional development. Research provides opportunities for personal growth for all who are actively involved. Everyone in the research group, from mentor (faculty project director) to learners (postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates), has learning goals. Learners gain confidence and stature among peers as they gain proficiency in a field. They engage not only in the research process but also in the integration of the research process and educational process. Provide opportunities for collaboration and cooperation. Because the most interesting and important problems and questions are usually complex and multidisciplinary, researchers with diverse and complementary perspectives and experiences often collaborate. Evaluate efforts through peer review and peer evaluation. The expectation of all research is that the outcomes will be communicated and available to an audience beyond those immediately involved in the research activity. Efforts should be disseminated so others can critique them. That can occur via peer-reviewed publication or commercial products. The value of the research will then be measured by the impact—how widely cited or otherwise used—of its product. Levitan emphasized that dissemination of products (e.g., course materials, publications, websites) should be the goal at the outset of any educational program. He concluded by restating that researchers, whether funded by NSF, NIH, or private foundations, should consider the development of education projects in the same ways they develop science research projects: by reading the literature and consulting with colleagues to determine what is already known, and then moving beyond that with a novel approach to the problem. Effective Faculty Professional Development Responding to Levitan’s charge to integrate research and education, Lillian Tong, University of Wisconsin, posed questions about what is meant by “teaching as research” and what are the criteria by which education research

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should be judged. The former is a question posed frequently in the literature of science education (Boyer, 1990; Shulman, 1990; NRC, 2002c, 2003) and one that Tong recalled is heard over and over again by staff at the newly launched Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) at the University of Wisconsin (http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/publications/news/research_notes/articles/cirtl_center.asp). A university-level professional development program that aims to change the definition of the teaching process, CIRTL’s emphasis is on “teaching as research”: University of Wisconsin STEM faculty are expected to approach teaching in the same evidence-based manner that they conduct their research, which includes hypothesizing, implementing, observing, analyzing, and improving. The efforts of CIRTL encourage instructors to learn about teaching strategies from evidence-based work, observe and assess the effects in their own classrooms, and apply findings to improve their teaching practices. Levitan added a twist to this assessment by suggesting that, just as one can undertake research in unknown areas of science, an instructor can teach an unfamiliar subject and thereby demonstrate to students how to learn something new. In response to Tong’s second question, Levitan concluded that criteria for judging the quality of science education research should be established by editorial boards of appropriate journals. The achievements of CIRTL, as well as those of other programs for the professional development of science faculty, can have far-reaching implications. Several workshop participants argued for placing science courses designated for preservice teachers within science departments rather than schools of education because effective teaching of undergraduate science, especially for these students, requires both specialized content knowledge and appropriate instructional strategies. If preservice teachers are taught effectively by science faculty, this could break the cycle noted in Chapter 2 by Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences, of incoming college students who have inadequate science backgrounds because they were educated by K–12 teachers who teach how they were taught in their own undergraduate science courses and who, therefore, never developed a true feel for the nature of science. Bonnie Brunkhorst, California State University, San Bernardino, and Lillian McDermott, University of Washington, agreed that such science preparation should be the responsibility of science departments, but they encouraged continued conversations among science faculty and their colleagues in education departments (or

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schools) on how to best meet the needs of preservice teachers in introductory science courses. SUMMARY The following is a summary of the major ideas voiced by workshop participants regarding the impact on educational change of personality traits of individual faculty and the characteristics of organization, governance, and incentive structures within departments and institutions. The main goals for improving science instruction are to increase student conceptual understanding of the science disciplines and to enhance their scientific reasoning skills. Among the barriers to achieving these goals are two systemic dysfunctions: an overreliance by faculty on a narrow range of pedagogical tools and an incentive system that rewards excellence in disciplinary research but not in teaching. According to an ethnographic study by one of the presenters, faculty that are instructional innovators are usually individuals who find great pleasure in seeing students learn, view students not as “outsiders” but as less experienced potential peers, and who experience teaching as an activity that is just as intellectually exciting and engaging as the scholarship they pursue in their STEM discipline. Because of these characteristics, they seek to provide course materials and an environment that pushes the students to do the thinking and to “learn to learn,” and they tend to use assessment methods more to determine their students’ preconceptions and concerns and less to grade them, thereby opening up opportunities for feedback. At the institutional and departmental level, strategies commonly used in market analysis may be beneficial in this effort. University administrators have a number of options at their disposal in promoting instructional change, such as acquiring funds dedicated to educational reform and publicly announcing that such resources are available; arranging for pre- and post-tenure mentoring in effective teaching (in collaboration with the school or college of education if appropriate); establishing a top-down and bottom-up department-wide culture in support of effective instruction; selectively allocating funds to key faculty who are willing to try new, learner-centered modes of instruction; offering summer stipends and sabbatical leaves for new course development, extra teaching assistants, and reduction of teaching loads during course improvement; and establishing a policy that every course in a department must be designed to achieve specific, prede-

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termined learning outcomes that include both conceptual understanding of the subject and cognitive process skills. At a national level, workshop participants considered what granting agencies such as the NSF can do to promote educational change by combining research and education in their policies, programs, and grant offerings. NSF currently offers some programs to promote educational change, including the Math and Science Partnership program, the Learning and Teaching Centers, the NSF Director’s Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars (DTS), the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program, Biocomplexity in the Environment (BE): Integrated Research and Education in Environmental Systems, and the Graduate Teaching Fellows in K–12 Education (GK–12) program. NSF has recently mandated that every proposal for scientific research must meet criteria for both “intellectual merit” and “broader impact.” The latter criterion requires that proposals demonstrate that the research will promote teaching, training, and learning; improve science education; include undergraduate or precollege students as participants; and contribute to educational materials or databases.