Volume IV: What works, what matters, what lasts

June 25: Interviews with and perspectives of Pedagogical Pioneers

The June 2004 postings for PKAL Volume IV have focused on people and programs shaping the future of undergraduate STEM, with specific attention to pedagogical pioneers and pioneering pedagogies.

This theme will continue to be explored in 2004 - 2006, capturing in PKAL Volume IV the insights and experiences of the growing community of adapters of pedagogies having demonstrable impact on student learning.

We encourage the PKAL community to reflect how they are exploring, adapting and assessing promising pedagogies, and to tell us your story. If you and your colleagues are adapting and assessing one or more of the pedagogies described on June 11, we would like to hear from you. The first deadline for receiving reports: August 15, 2004.

We end June 2004 with a focus on people, putting a personal face on the work of transforming student learning.

First, we spotlight two leading agents of change:

  • Priscilla Laws
    Professor of Physics and Astronomy Emerita
    Dickinson College
    (Workshop Physics)

  • Thomas J. Wenzel
    Professor of Chemistry
    Bates College
    (Undergraduate Research)

Together with materials presented earlier, (see the essay by Ken and Pat Heller) on their work with cooperative problem solving), these interviews suggest a possible template for further reports from the larger STEM community.

Interviews from the PKAL archives with three other pioneers are also highlighted this week:

Then, we present insights from students who are having first-hand experience with these pedagogies, a reminder of the real reason for all this attention to getting pedagogies right.

Integrating research and education- always a goal of those seeking to ensure strong student learning in mathematics, technology, and the various fields of science and engineering- is receiving renewed and significant attention. NSF is awarding such activities with DTS awards. Read interviews from selected teaching scholars conducted by PKAL.

Finally, we anticipate the postings for July 2004, which will focus on leadership from the personal perspective. As a complement to PKAL's survey on the ideal department, on institutions that work, and on the facility of the future, we have drafted a survey dealing with the characteristics of the "ideal" STEM leader. This is work-in-progress, and we'd like your reaction as to its potential value within the new PKAL leadership initiative.