Featured Papers within "Learning from Inquiry in Practice"

  • Cultivating Scientist- and Engineer-Educators 2010: The Evolving Professional Development Program

    Authors:  Hunter, L.; Metevier, A. J.; Seagroves, S.; Kluger-Bell, B.; Porter, J.; Raschke, L.; Jonsson, P.; Shaw, J.; Quan, T. K.; Montgomery, R.

    Abstract:  The Professional Development Program (PDP) is at the heart of the education programs of the Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators. The PDP was originally developed by the Center for Adaptive Optics, and since has been instrumental in developing and advancing a growing community of scientist- and engineer-educators. Participants come to the PDP early in their careers—most as graduate students—and they emerge as leaders who integrate research and education in their professional practice. The PDP engages participants in the innovative teaching and learning strategies of inquiry. Participants put new knowledge into action by designing inquiry activities and teaching their activities in undergraduate science and engineering laboratory settings. In addition to inquiry, members of the PDP community value and intentionally draw from diversity and equity studies and strategies, assessment strategies, education research, knowledge about effective education practices, and interdisciplinary dialogue. This paper describes the PDP, including goals, rationale, format, workshop sessions, outcomes from ten years, and future directions.

  • Diversity and Equity in the Lab: Preparing Scientists and Engineers for Inclusive Teaching in Courses and Research Environments

    Authors:  Hunter, L.; Seagroves, S.; Metevier, A. J.; Kluger-Bell, B.; Raschke, L.; Jonsson, P.; Porter, J.; Brown, C.; Roybal, G.; Shaw, J.

    Abstract:  Despite high attrition rates in college-level science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses, with even higher rates for women and underrepresented minorities, not enough attention has been given to higher education STEM classroom practices that may limit the retention of students from diverse backgrounds. The Professional Development Program (PDP) has developed a range of professional development activities aimed at helping participants learn about diversity and equity issues, integrate inclusive teaching strategies into their own instructional units, and reflect on their own teaching practices. In the PDP, all participants develop and teach a STEM laboratory activity that enables their students to practice scientific inquiry processes as they gain an understanding of scientific concepts. In addition, they are asked to consider diversity and equity issues in their activity design and teaching. The PDP supports participants in this challenging endeavor by engaging them in activities that are aligned with a PDP-defined Diversity & Equity Focus Area that includes five emphases: 1) Multiple ways to learn, communicate and succeed; 2) Learners' goals, interests, motivation, and values; 3) Beliefs and perceptions about ability to achieve; 4) Inclusive collaboration and equitable participation; 5) Social identification within STEM culture. We describe the PDP Diversity & Equity focus, the five emphases, and the supporting activities that have been designed and implemented within the PDP, as well as future directions for our diversity and equity efforts.

  • Improvements in Professional Development Program Participants’ Understandings about Inclusive Teaching

    Authors:  Metevier, A. J.; Hunter, L.; Goza, B. K.; Raschke, L. M.; Seagroves, S.

    Abstract:  A major emphasis of the Center for Adaptive Optics Professional Development Program (PDP) is training early-career scientists and engineers to teach more inclusively as well as more effectively. To this end, the PDP includes workshops on diversity and equity, and PDP participants are explicitly encouraged to weave inclusive instructional strategies into the inquiry laboratory activities they design and teach. In an initial effort to gauge the effectiveness of the PDP’s diversity and equity training, we have analyzed 2008 and 2009 PDP participants’ responses to a survey knowledge question that asks them to briefly describe how they would engage a diverse undergraduate student population through their teaching and research. Each participant answered the survey question before any PDP training, as well as after a series of intensive PDP workshops. We developed a rubric to score and analyze participants’ pre- and post-workshop responses, and have found that their response scores improve significantly after PDP training. This indicates that PDP training does improve participants’ understandings about how to teach inclusively. Furthermore, survey respondents who participated in the PDP in both 2008 and 2009 showed little decrease in response scores between years, but continued increases with continued training. In this paper, we detail our rubric development, survey response scoring, analysis, and results, as well as the implications our results have had for refining our goals for PDP participants and for further improving PDP workshops.