ment and the idea of requiring National Science Foundation grantees to base curriculum proposals on existing research. Several groups identified the need for additional research, particularly on institutional change and its relation to STEM education. Ideas in this regard included a concerted research initiative around the broad question of what influences faculty members’ teaching decisions; research that examines the drivers for change, the resistance for change, and strategies for overcoming that resistance; the role of influential leaders in promoting change; and a deeper analysis of change strategies that do not work.
Finally, the groups mentioned the importance of disseminating research in a way that makes it enticing and easy for “hungry adopters” to change their practice. The process would take into account the role of textbooks and textbook developers and would involve understanding why more faculty are not adopting innovations and identifying those who might be amenable to changing their practice. According to the small groups, dissemination efforts might include a design manual articulating research-based guidelines for structuring courses and mechanisms for sharing information about innovations within and across disciplines.
Kenneth Heller observed that many of the teaching strategies discussed during the workshop (e.g., case-based learning, problem-based learning, using closed-ended problems or context-rich problems) involved a common set of elements. For example, they all include cooperative group learning, connection to a real problem, and coaching—and these methods seem to be effective.
David Mogk focused on next steps. He cited a need for resources and networks that will engage more faculty in the scholarship of learning and help them become agents of change in their classes, departments, and institutions. Drawing parallels between the scientific method and education research and assessment, he encouraged workshop participants to help their colleagues engage in assessment for the betterment of STEM education and for the health of science and society.
Melvin George remarked on the dearth of discussion about the purpose of improving STEM education, stressing the need to identify a compelling sense of purpose that will generate support for reforms. He also agreed with the need to create a design manual for “hungry adopters.” He concluded by underscoring the points made by Fairweather, Dancy, and Henderson about directing more resources to understanding the factors that influence change versus continuing to study which practices are effective.
Building on George’s points, William Wood added that it is important to understand the role students play—positive and negative—in the change