Volume IV: What works, what matters, what lasts

September 10: People in the politics of change

Essays, Stories & Reports:

  • On the politics of teaching reform
    - Gregor Novak, Distinguished Visiting Professor, The United States Air Force Academy and Professor of Physics Emeritus, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
    Working with JiTT and the Freshman Learning Project (FLP) at Indiana University, Novak emphasizes the significance of academic reform in the 21st century. Changes in student population, information technology, and research on teaching and learning have increased the prominence of teaching activities for faculty and institutions.

  • Informed Participation and Empowerment - From Leadership
    – Ernesto Arias, Hal Eden, Gerhard Fischer, Andrew Gorman and Eric Scharff, University of Colorado, Boulder
    This essay from Leadership addresses the issues involved in empowering individuals to take an active role in transforming systems by encouraging the system's users to become owners of the problems.

Responses by the PKAL F21 community:

PKAL is inviting Faculty for the 21st Century (F21) Members to respond to the lead Volume IV essays posted each week. In reflecting on Novak's essay, On the politics of reform, the particular knowledge and experience of these four F21 members about making systemic change at their institutions is in the essays below.

  • Reflection on Novak's On the politics of teaching reform
    - David Koetje, Associate Professor of Biology, Calvin College
    Koetje reflects on Gregor Novak's essay and his own experiences with changes in the biology curriculum at Calvin College.

  • Changing to a student-centered learning environment
    - Gay Stewart, Associate Professor of Physics, University of Arkansas - Fayetteville, Site director, Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC), Director, University of Arkansas Physics Department Preparing Future Faculty Program, Co-director of the Arkansas Precision Education Group
    Based on Novak's views on teaching reform, Gay Stewart focuses on her personal experiences with student-centered learning at the University of Arkansas.

  • The collaborative, community-building, results-oriented approach
    - Charisse M. Buising, Associate Professor of Biology and Associate Director of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Program, Co-Director, Environmental Science and Policy Program- Drake University
    - LaRhee Henderson, Associate Professor of Chemistry- Drake University
    A car ride to a PKAL meeting at Beloit College sparked a conversation leading to a collaborative, community-building, results-oriented approach in courses.

  • Comment on the essay, On the politics of teaching reform
    - Yildirim Dilek, Professor of Geology, Harrison Scholars Professor, Faculty Teaching Associate, CELT- Miami University
    Dilek adds a fourth development to Novak's list - the changing status of the "social contract" between science and the public, and the need to bring relevance to not only the students in the classroom but also the public.