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Noah Finkelstein: Preserving the Promise of Higher Education: educational transformation at a critical time

Datum objave: 9. 3. 2015
Vir: Fizikalno predavanje
v sredo, 15. 4. 2015, ob 17h na FMF, Jadranska 19

Preserving the Promise of Higher Education: educational transformation at a critical time

Noah Finkelstein, Department of Physics and Center for STEM Learning, University of Colorado Boulder

Institutions of higher education have historically served essential roles in building our societies and are currently looked to address the national and international challenges of: recruiting, preparing and supporting pre-college teachers, increasing the number, diversity and quality preparation of college graduates, and broadly educating the citizenry of tomorrow. As such significant, perhaps unprecedented, attention is being paid to higher education and the needs for transformation within the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. At the same time, calls within the U.S. and internationally are questioning the role, costs, and methods of higher education. Because of decades of research in student-learning, and institutional transformation, especially research conducted within and by disciplines, we are now positioned to make scholarly and evidence based decisions that will impact our institutions and societies for the coming decades.

This talk examines how universities and STEM disciplines themselves are positioned to contribute to the national dialogue. I will review the growth of programs at CU-Boulder, and particularly my own research and programmatic efforts within physics and STEM education. I will present work ranging from the individual to the institutional scales, reviewing samples of: course transformation that have tripled student learning gains and increased student retention; programmatic efforts such as the national Learning Assistant program that have more than tripled the numbers of students who go into teaching in key fields; scholarly efforts, such as the growing discipline-based education research (DBER) community and the Center for STEM Learning that provide foundational research and development behind these transformations; and national networks that seek to catalyze and support such educational transformation.