June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Educational Research and Methods
13.1039.1 - 13.1039.18
Research on the Evolution of College Instructors’ Perspectives of Teaching and Learning
This paper describes five recitation leaders’ perspectives of teaching and learning and how they evolved over the course of a semester in which they taught an undergraduate, core curriculum, natural science course, particularly designed for non-engineering majors: ENGR 101, Energy: Resources, Utilization, and Importance to Society. Leaders’ perspectives were captured through a series of three one-on-one interviews conducted over the course of an academic semester as they were team-teaching. Our participants, who were not all engineers, worked closely with engineering faculty —the content experts— and learning scientists — experts in pedagogy— over the course of a semester. Weekly group meetings were held to review the recitation activities, reflect on our team’s teaching practices, discuss students’ reactions, and consider strategies to enhance the effectiveness of our course deliverables. At these meetings, we cultivated a learning community in which we encouraged the recitation leaders to facilitate the learning process, instead of trying to be the main source of knowledge. Our recitation leaders have begun to employ strategies that are more student-centered. The interviews we conducted with them showed their evolving perspectives of teaching and learning. The interviews portray a collaboration that faculty with similar intentions to encourage instruction emphasizing student centered pedagogy may find helpful.
Energy sustainability is an important concept for human societies and must address economic, environmental, and societal aspects. A long term goal to stimulate research and technology development toward transformational energy solutions is best addressed through the efforts of all educated citizens, and not only by engineers and scientists. For this reason, professors from petroleum and aerospace engineering departments developed a course (ENGR 101) for undergraduates in all majors, which focuses on the development of interest in and awareness of energy resources, utilization, sustainability and their impact on society. The ENGR 101 was approved as a core curriculum natural science elective. As such, it can fulfill a science requirement on the degree plans of non- science major students. This course is offered through the college of engineering to all undergraduates at a large Southern Research-I University.
Unlike more traditional engineering courses, which often emphasize mathematical calculations, ENGR 101 emphasizes critical thinking and effective communication skills as a mechanism to learn energy concepts, including energy resources, distribution, and management, and how energy may be effectively and sustainably consumed.
Yalvac, B., & Brooks, L., & Ehlig-Economides, C. (2008, June), Research On The Evolution Of College Instructors' Perspectives Of Teaching And Learning Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3603
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