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Research On The Evolution Of College Instructors' Perspectives Of Teaching And Learning

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Faculty Attitudes and Perceptions

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1039.1 - 13.1039.18



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Paper Authors


Bugrahan Yalvac Texas A&M University

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Bugrahan Yalvac is an assistant professor of Science Education at Texas A&M University. He worked as a post-doctorate research fellow at VaNTH Engineering Research Center in Northwestern University. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Science Education from the Pennsylvania State University and an M.S. degree from the Middle East Technical University. He specializes in design and assessment of learning environments pertaining to science and engineering subjects in K-12 and postsecondary levels.

Address: Texas A&M University; Teaching, Learning, and Culture; 444 Harrington Tower; College Station, TX 77843; Telephone: (+1) 979.8621713;

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Lisa Brooks Texas A&M University

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Lisa Brooks is a graduate student of Science Education at Texas A&M University. She holds an M.Ag. degree in Entomology from Texas A&M University and a B.S. degree in Animal Science from Rutgers University. She specializes in research focusing on the design of learning environment that support transfer of learning to practical situations.

Address: Texas A&M University; Teaching, Learning, and Culture; 343 Harrington Tower; College Station, TX 77843; Telephone: (+1) 979.696.5034;e-mail:

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Christine Ehlig-Economides Texas A&M University

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Christine Ehlig-Economides is a full professor of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University. She worked for 20 years for Schlumberger in the oil industry in more than 30 countries. Dr. Ehlig-Economides has a B.A. in Math-Science from Rice University, an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Petroleum Engineering. She is currently developing education and research programs in energy sustainability. She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2003.

Address: Texas A&M University; Petroleum Engineering Department; 710 Richardson TAMU 3116, College Station, TX; Telephone: (+1)979.458.0797;

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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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