PKAL Faculty for the 21st Century
John Alan Goodwin
F21 Class of 1994 Statements Revisited
Question: What are the current challenges you are facing in your professional life?
Answer: Looking back to my response to this question in 1994 as an untenured assistant professor, I see that the challenges I feel today are quite similar to those I saw then. Having faced another twelve years of inadequate resources and a lack of agreement about how to use those resources at another institution convinces me that these issues are always a challenge.
Question: What do you view as your most promising options and opportunities for the future?
Answer: In 1994 my view of options for meeting some of these challenges focused on making inter-disciplinary links within my former institution. While this can be an option, I now realize largely due to the lessons of PKAL, that it is often more useful to make connections beyond one's own campus. Programs designed to create nationwide collaborations and mentorship provide strong support for finding good solutions to common problems in STEM education. .
Question: What will undergraduate STEM be like in 2016, given the urgency of new challenges and opportunities facing our nation?
Answer: Life is like a chromatography column - there are a few adventurous souls who advance at the forefront, a larger number who catch on soon after, and the majority who follow at a slower pace. After those are the ones resistant to change and even those who do not change at all. Ten years from now, I think the majority of STEM educators will be where the leading edge was ten years ago - beginning to implement active-learning strategies in introductory courses. Where the leading edge will be in ten years is anyone's guess, but mine is that there will have to be great advances in implementing active-learning for increasingly large classes through electronic media and intelligent computer assessment.