June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.389.1 - 14.389.7
Cultivating Authentic Engineering Discourse: Faculty Development Efforts
Abstract1 This paper presents an emerging model for engineering faculty development with a focus on increasing the capacity of faculty to actively engage learners using an innovative approach of introducing counterintuitive modules and model elicitation into the classroom. The model encapsulates the faculty development efforts of the project, Cultivating Authentic Discourse for the 2020 Engineer, supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) program. Evaluation of the project provides compelling evidence that faculty members are changing their approaches to pedagogy, experiencing transformation in their senses of professional identity, and becoming engaged in a community of co-learners of STEM faculty participants. The key elements of this emerging model include: 1) fostering awareness of inquiry modules and their role in student learning; 2) creating awareness of teaching and learning theories and their roles in classroom instructional practice; 3) providing time, resources, and a supportive environment for developing counterintuitive modules; and 4) creating a collaborative community of experts in engineering and pedagogy to engage in discussions on issues of teaching and learning.
Introduction Faculty development activities are widely accepted as a structured vehicle for higher education faculty in non-education disciplines for learning pedagogical methods to improve classroom environments and enhance student learning. Brent and Felder2 point out that faculty in science and engineering, however, tend to be more resistant to engaging learner-centered methods in their classrooms due to their potential to “lower standards and inflate grades” (p. 1). The paucity of literature on engineering faculty development corroborates this conjecture of faculty resistance. Nonetheless, the literature does reveal pockets of intense development efforts in which engineering faculty are learning and adopting active teaching methods, resulting in improvement of student learning and development of teaming and design skills.2, 5, 12
This paper presents an emerging model for engineering faculty development with a focus on increasing the capacity of faculty to actively engage learners using an innovative approach of introducing counterintuitive modules and model elicitation into the classroom.8 These modules focus instruction on a few core engineering concepts and create opportunities for students to investigate various conceptual phenomena using inquiry methods of learning. Such methods increase the likelihood that students will deepen their conceptual understanding as they make sense of and derive meaning from phenomena under investigation.1,3Embedded in the faculty development activities are reflection and investigation of learning theories. This work is led by the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) and is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) program. In
1 This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0618861. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Kephart, K., & Villa, E., & Everett, L., & Pennathur, A. (2009, June), Cultivating Authentic Engineering Discourse: Results Of Faculty Development Efforts Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4759
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