Goals and General Description

The 21st century student is faced with mastery of increasing amounts of information in their STEM courses. The challenge for educators is to distill the volumes of content to the essentials, while presenting complex ideas in understandable ways, and fostering the development of critical and analytical thinking. This PKAL Assembly will highlight alternative teaching methods in STEM classrooms that can improve student learning in all types of courses, from introductory to advanced levels.

Registration & Hotel Reservation Deadline: September 10, 2003

The goals of this workshop are to provide participants with the following:

  • Insights into how students learn
  • Examples of alternative teaching strategies from practitioners
  • Practice in designing an activity or a course using an alternative pedagogy
  • Analysis of how a particular pedagogy can be utilized to shape an entire course or curriculum
  • A network of individuals who have used or are interested in using particular types of pedagogy in their courses

Plenary sessions during the assembly will address:

  • Paradigms for Learning – the theory behind the practice (Ken Heller, University of Minnesota)
  • A Kaleidoscope of Perspectives on Pedagogy from Practitioners (F21 panel)
  • The Reform Process – an example of change in pedagogy in a large classroom (Karl Smith - invited)
  • Course Design – how alternative pedagogies have been used to design courses and curriculum
  • Lessons Learned and Regional Needs
  • Building Networks for Continuing Collaboration

Five concurrent break out sessions (repeated once) will feature workshops demonstrating a particular alternative pedagogy by individuals who have used them in their courses, such as:

  • Just-in-Time Teaching
  • Role Playing
  • Jigsaw Groups
  • Case Studies
  • Cooperative Group Problem Solving

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Discuss best practices of alternative pedagogies with others within the region during small group discussions
  • Explore how to initiate and maintain a reform process at their institution with other F21 leaders
  • Share and distill ideas and insights from breakout sessions with other members of their team to plan what might work best for them given their institutional context
  • Work with other members of their team on an action plan for implementation of alternative pedagogy in their courses, curriculum, or institution
  • Meet other faculty in the region with whom they can share ideas and begin to build a network of common interest in teaching, research, and STEM education