As the CEO of a tech start-up and a former professor, here’s what keeps me awake at night: half of college students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math end up dropping those courses and switching to another major. That is disturbing, not only because I am personally passionate about STEM innovators’ potential to improve lives, but also because it is no secret that we are in dire need of a STEM-proficient work force. If we continue at this rate of attrition, in the next decade, America will need approximately a million more STEM professionals than the field will produce. While we’re pumping much-needed investments into ensuring more K-12 students have access to worthwhile math and computer science education, these investments will mean very little if students abandon STEM once they get to college.
Archive for month: December, 2016
You are here: Home1 / Video Production in Introductory Life Science Curriculum2 / 20163 / December
The most recent issue of Peer Review (Winter/Spring 2016; published by AACU) highlights the powerful impact ‘transparency’ can have on learning for all students. One aspect of transparency is making obvious the intellectual practices involved in completing and evaluating a learning task. But making these processes visible for students is more easily said than done; we are experts in our fields for the very reasons that our thinking and evaluating are automatic and subconscious. It’s hard to describe exactly what we do intellectually when we synthesize or integrate, critique, or create. Similarly, it’s difficult to articulate the differences between an assignment we score as an A and one to which we give a B. Thus, a challenge in achieving transparency is developing a deep awareness of our own processes. Only then can we explicitly teach those thinking processes. In my own case, thinking about thinking (aka metacognition) was a new pedagogical consideration and it took time to learn this new set of skills in the context of teaching biology. So I was tickled pink one day last September when, at my new institution, I was able to problem-solve on my feet. I was teaching a new-to-me set of skills (writing outside of science) in a new-to-me format (discussion) to a population of students with whom I had no prior experience and in a class I’d never taught before.
This short article offers eight steps to help faculty respond to racism in classrooms and promote inclusive environments on campus.
Some teachers are using research-based teaching methods that build trust in minority students, acknowledge students’ self worth, and emphasize intelligence as fluid and growing.
The threat of confirming a racial or gender stereotype in the classroom leaves many minority students with stress and anxiety. This article outlines ways to combat stereotype threat.
Engaging Mathematics has published manuals that help teachers incorporate civic issues such as sustainability, climate change, and water pollution into statistics, algebra, modeling, and other mathematics courses. Dr. Rikki Wagstrom, an Engaging Mathematics Institutional Partner and Associate Professor of Mathematics at Metropolitan State University, published a teaching manual containing two modules for use in either a standard Calculus I-II sequence or a one-semester applied calculus survey course.
Allowing midterm evaluations to be a time for students to reflect on their own learning progress provides teachers with more-detailed and thorough feedback.
The PULSE Vision & Change Rubrics, version 1.0, assess life sciences departments’ progress toward implementation of the principles of the Vision and Change report. This paper reports on the development of the rubrics, their validation, and their reliability in measuring departmental change aligned with the Vision and Change recommendations. The rubrics assess 66 different criteria across five areas: Curriculum Alignment, Assessment, Faculty Practice/Faculty Support, Infrastructure, and Climate for Change. The results from this work demonstrate the rubrics can be used to evaluate departmental transformation equitably across institution types and represent baseline data about the adoption of the Vision and Change recommendations by life sciences programs across the United States.
Read the full paper here.