2018 Transforming STEM Higher Education
As part of its Network for Academic Renewal conference series, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, with Project Kaleidoscope, will host the 2018 STEM conference, Transforming STEM Higher Education: Confirming the Authority of Evidence. This conference’s mission is to chart a daring path toward the reform of STEM higher education by strategically integrating disciplinary introspection, social consciousness, and self-reflection into an unparalleled conference experience that gives deeper meaning and purpose to our way of knowing, understanding, and advancing STEM higher education practice, research, and policy. The conference annually brings together more than 500 STEM faculty and administrators, as well as those supporting STEM higher education from other disciplines or in other roles.
At the core of this conference is our mission-level commitment to ensuring that all STEM faculty are equipped to effectively implement best practices for undergraduate STEM teaching within any institutional context, for any student demographic, despite existing systems of oppression, and—most importantly—with full acceptance of and appreciation for the competing traditions of our disciplines that can often challenge our beliefs and values about what constitutes evidence. As such, we champion the network of reformers who boldly consider not only “what works” in STEM higher education reform, but also “for whom” and “under what conditions” it works best.
Transforming STEM Higher Education invites academic STEM practitioners and scholars of all disciplines to join us as we critically examine the entire range of contemporary opportunities for—and challenges to—STEM higher education reform including, but not limited to, exploring evidence-based approaches to undergraduate STEM teaching, examining new approaches to broadening participation, interrogating emerging research studies related to STEM student learning, and verifying new assessment tools for determining undergraduate STEM teaching effectiveness. Conference attendees can expect to see disciplinary biases about evidence unveiled, fixations on approaches to “fixing the student” tested, and theories about what can and cannot count as evidence of effectiveness questioned.
Through this unique conference experience, we join the growing movement of national STEM-related societies and journal publishers that have taken a stand in preserving the centuries-old legitimacy of scientific evidence as the quintessential lever that drives innovation, discovery, social change, and life choice. And we commit ourselves to using this lever to modernize our teaching styles and master new undergraduate STEM teaching techniques in ways that will not only enhance learning, but also ensure that that learning brings diverse perspectives and worldviews to bear on the scientific inquiries of our day at—and, especially, beyond—the conference.