Pre-Conference Workshops: 2016 Transforming Undergraduate STEM Education

Separate registration and fee required ($125 members; $195 non-members); seating will be limited, so register early.

Thursday, November 3, 2:00–5:00 p.m.

Workshop 1:  Achieving 21st-Century Skills for STEM Success
Based on a growing body of literature in science education, the academic community knows “what works” in the STEM classroom to help students better understand the content of a discipline and gain the 21st century skills necessary to conduct investigations in different areas of science.  What works are the evidence-based, active learning methods that should populate every STEM course, in all “lectures,” laboratories, and discussion sections.  These methods include practice in using and analyzing data, systems modeling, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, communication, and experimental design.  Yet the problem in gaining widespread use of these improved pedagogies seems to be in the actual implementation of active learning into the classroom.  This workshop will provide faculty with tools to help students develop the skills necessary to succeed in our technology and science-driven world. Co-facilitators will provide examples of evidence-based methods and engage participants in activities that can be implemented in their classrooms or adapted for use in other learning environments—across their programs and departments.
Susan Elrod, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs—University of Wisconsin – Whitewater; and Gordon Uno, Chair, Professor of Plant Biology and David Ross Boyd Professor of Botany—University of Oklahoma Norman 

Workshop 2:  Pre-Service STEM Teacher Education
Traditional, lecture-style STEM teaching has been shown to diminish student learning outcomes, retention, and interest in STEM fields. This potentially poses a major threat to US global preeminence in science and technology. Critical to addressing the need for better STEM teaching practices is the development of K–12 teachers who are competitively trained in STEM disciplines, culturally responsive, and liberally educated.  This workshop will explore a next generation (2030) vision for K-12 STEM teacher preparation based on work currently being done in Washington State. Participants will examine how collaboration and leveraging of existing resources within and between institutions can support systemic changes in STEM teacher preparation that benefit all students and support K-12 schools in the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and Language Arts.
Ed Geary, Director of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education—Western Washington University; and Paul Kuerbis, Professor of Education Emeritus--Colorado College

Workshop 3: Accelerating Systemic Change Network (ASCN)
ASCN is a newly formed network intended to serve as an intellectual home for individuals and groups who are engaged in creating or studying institution-wide change in undergraduate STEM education in the full range of institutional settings.  Development of a coherent, interdisciplinary professional network will help capture what is currently known and on the horizon about leading and evaluating change efforts on campuses around the country. ASCN will also afford participants opportunities for synergistic exchange and collaboration among the variety of campus and state system efforts now in progress.  ASCN is structured around a flexible set of topical working groups, at present:

  • What theories and models should be used to guide change efforts?
  • What are the costs and benefits of change?
  • Who leads change and how?
  • How can measurement and communication promote change?

Participants may join one of these working groups, and/or develop other themes.  Participants will gain a better understanding of how to lead change efforts on their own campuses and an opportunity to join this new network for future networking opportunities.
Charles Henderson, Professor, Physics Department and Mallinson Institute for Science Education—Western Michigan University; and  Linda Slakey, Senior Fellow—AAC&U

Workshop 4: Project Kaleidoscope Leadership Development for STEM Faculty
For the past two decades, Project Kaleidoscope has provided leadership development for hundreds of early- and mid-career STEM faculty through its Summer Leadership Institute.  This Institute strategically utilizes a combination of deep introspection and experiential learning to empower a cadre of undergraduate STEM reformers who are equipped to: lead change with courage; embrace diverse perspectives with authenticity and legitimacy; and communicate bold, new ideas with thoughtfulness and clarity. This highly-interactive, pre-conference workshop will serve two purposes. First, it will introduce participants to the underlying theory that supports Project Kaleidoscope’s unique approach to leadership development. Second, it will engage both SLI alumni and other STEM faculty and administrators in hands-on leadership training experiences designed to impart immediate efficacy in directing campus-based and/or national undergraduate STEM reform initiatives.
Judith Dilts, Professor Emerita, College of Science and Mathematics and Sylvia Nadler, Affiliate, College of Science and Mathematics—both of James Madison University; and Alison Morrison-Shetlar, Provost—Western Carolina University