STEM Pedagogy Institute

STEM Pedagogy Institute

Date: May 27, 2017

Time: 8:30am – 4:00pm

The STEM Pedagogy Institute is a one-day intensive set of presentations, workshops, and hands-on work that will culminate in each participant institution having developed a project that will be implemented during the 2017-18 academic year. Each project will address an important curricular issue, challenge, and/or problem related to a biological science major at the participating institution. Although the focus of the institute will be on departments with biology majors, we are interested in the participation of faculty who teach courses that contribute to the biology major (e.g., chemistry, mathematics, physics).

  • At least one of the team members must be from a biological science department. Other members can include faculty who teach courses taken by biological science majors, faculty from an institution’s teaching and learning center, and/or academic administrators who oversee biological science majors.
  • Applications for each institution will comprise one team of 2 or 3 people who will be named in the application. Institutions will guarantee that in the event of a team member withdrawal after the team has been accepted into the Institute, that that team member will be replaced.
  • We have funding to support a limited number of institutions to participate in the  Institute.  If your institution is not selected for the 2017 Institute, we will invite you to reapply for the 2018 Institute. 
  • Our Institute has two sources of funding:
    1. A Davis Educational Foundation grant (Victor Benassi and Catherine Overson, PIs) will provide support for applicants from four-year colleges and universities.
    2. A National Science Foundation grant (Samuel Pazicni, Margaret Greenslade, and Victor Benassi, PIs) will provide support for applicants from community colleges.
  • The application form (link below) should be completed by all applicants.

  • Each accepted team agrees to participate in the STEM conference on May 26, 2017 and in the STEM Pedagogy Institute on May 27, 2017 (8:30am – 4:00pm).
  • Selected teams agree to complete one preparatory assignment prior to the institute. This assignment will involve working on the learning outcomes for your project, and completing a brief reading assignment related to your project.

Each team will identify a curricular issue in one or more courses that they will work on at the Institute.  Here are some examples of the kinds of issues that you might want to address through the institute. They are just examples.

  1. Students enrolled in a biological science major take required courses in chemistry and mathematics during their first year. They often comment to their biology teachers and their advisors that they have a difficult time seeing the connection between what they are being taught in these courses with their biology courses. The chair of the biology department wants to create a collaboration among the chemistry, mathematics, and biology departments to better integrate the chemistry and mathematics taught in the courses taken by biology majors with the content they taught in their first-year biology courses.
  2. Faculty who teach upper-division courses in their department’s biology major often complain that students do not know basic concepts and content that was included in the two first-year biology courses. The department curriculum committee is interested in identifying the source of the problem and developing a strategy to address it.
  3. Faculty are concerned that many students have difficulty applying concepts addressed in their courses to real-world biological phenomena. Faculty are interested in developing approaches that may increase their students’ success in applying concepts taught in these courses.
  4. With the assistance of the campus teaching and learning center, the chair of a department’s curriculum committee administers an assessment to biological science majors that shows that most of them use inefficient, ‘shallow’ study methods outside of class. The faculty in the department are interested in creating out-of-class assignments that promote more efficient and ‘deep’ study methods.

Project staff will work with you to develop learning outcomes for your project, instructional methods (based on science of learning principles) to help you achieve those outcomes, and an plan to assess the impact of the methods on your learning outcomes.

Stem Pedagogy Institute Program:

Applications are now closed for the Summer 2017 STEM Pedagogy Institute.  We invite you to apply for the Pedagogy Institute that we will hold in Summer 2018.