Learning from Inquiry in Practice

Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Conference Volume 436

January 16, 2010


Excerpt from the Volume Synopsis

"In January 2010, a conference was held in Santa Cruz, California, for alumni of the Professional Development Program (PDP), which was developed through the Center for Adaptive Optics and now continues through the Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators and the Akamai Workforce Initiative at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Held every year since 2001, the PDP workshops have trained graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty members to teach effectively and inclusively through instructional strategies in which students build conceptual understanding and learn scientific reasoning processes – that is, through “inquiry.” This PDP training has complemented and supported participants’ research training, strengthening their preparation for careers in academia."

The papers contained in this Volume highlight and reflect almost a decade of work within the PDP.  Written by both conference attendees and PDP alumni from across the country, this work covers a broad range of disciplines and efforts.  It contains information related to designing and teaching inquiry activities as well as program development and implementation along the following themes:

  1. Inquiry Activity Design: design and facilitation of inquiry activities through the PDP 

  2. Larger-Scale Curriculum Design: design and delivery of PDP influenced curriculum elements such as formal college courses, short courses, internship programs, etc. 

  3. Professional Development: design and delivery of the PDP itself 

  4. Research and Evaluation: analysis of the impacts of the PDP

  5. Perspectives: personal reflections on the PDP experience and related efforts

See Also