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CRESE Seminars

This seminar series explores findings from discipline-based STEM education research that can help advance equity, academic success, and social mobility for all students. Distinguished speakers will present their research, followed by interactive Q&A sessions focused on translating these findings into practical teaching strategies for undergraduate STEM classrooms. Through these discussions, we will examine strategies to address barriers, foster inclusivity, and enhance student achievement within a diverse academic community. This series will showcase the significance of discipline-based STEM education research in undergraduate STEM programs, foster meaningful discussions, and inspire actionable change in teaching.

Spring 2024 seminars will be 12-1 on Thursdays in University Hall 100

Speakers (details below):
Thursday February 29, 2024
Mary Pilgrim, San Diego State University
 
Thursday March 14, 2024
Laird Kramer, Florida International University
 
Thursday April 4, 2024
Susan E. Shadle, Boise State University


Mathematics Graduate Teaching Assistant Preparation for Teaching through the ELITE PD Program

Thursday February 29, 2024
Mary Pilgrim, San Diego State University

Mathematics graduate teaching assistants (MGTAs) make up part of both the current and future teaching force at the undergraduate level; however they are often not adequately prepared to teach in engaging, inclusive, and equitable ways. Without robust professional development (PD) for teaching that focuses on active, engaged teaching practices, MGTAs often replicate the lecture-based teaching practices that they have experienced and observed as students. The ELITE PD project aims to implement and study a PD program for MGTAs focused on engaged learning, inclusive teaching, and equity (ELITE PD). Spanning multiple semesters, the ELITE PD program is being implemented with cohorts of MGTAs across three institutions. In this presentation, I will share the ELITE PD program model, an overview of the research, contextual adaptations, and an example activity.

Speaker bio:
Mary E. Pilgrim holds an MS in Mathematics and Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Colorado State University. She is Associate Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at San Diego State University and is the Math Graduate TA professional development provider. Her research area is in undergraduate mathematics education. Within this field of study, she has expertise in mathematics instructor professional development for teaching, with a focus on active, equitable, and inclusive practices. In addition, she studies the uptake and sustainability of related change efforts at the department level. She has two National Science Foundation grants that support this work: 1) Collaborative Research: Mathematics Graduate Teaching Assistant Professional Development Focused on Implementation of Evidence-based Teaching Practices (Award Nos 2013590, 2013563, and 2013422), and 2) Collaborative Research: Mathematics Persistence through Inquiry and Equity: Redeveloping Gateway Mathematics in a Two-year HSI to Promote Success in STEM (Award Nos 1953713 and 1953753).

 


Establishing a new standard of care for calculus instruction

Thursday March 14, 2024
Laird Kramer, Florida International University

The Catalyzing Change in Calculus (C3) Project developed and rigorously tested the Modeling Practices in Calculus (MPC) curriculum and pedagogy for Introductory Calculus at Florida International University. MPC is a comprehensive instructional approach that promotes ambitious teaching practices, fosters students' use of the practices of mathematicians to learn calculus and embeds culturally responsive instruction into an active learning calculus course. A large-scale pragmatic trial with randomized student allocation was used to compare the MPC instructional approach to traditional, lecture-based instruction. A sample of 811 undergraduate students were studied across 32 sections taught by 19 instructors over three semesters. Large effect sizes were consistently measured for student learning outcomes in the MPC sections, demonstrating a new standard for calculus instruction and increased opportunities for completion of STEM degrees. The talk will summarize the MPC approach, share the experimental strategies and methods, and provide insights on potential future growth and opportunities.

Speaker bio:
Laird Kramer is a Professor of Physics and served as the Founding Director of the STEM Transformation Institute at Florida International University. His work focuses on facilitating institutional change through implementation of, and research on, evidence- based educational practices to establish equitable outcomes for all students. His work began in transforming the undergraduate physics experience at FIU, creating more well-prepared majors through the implementation of Modeling Instruction-based studio physics courses, establishment of student-centric methodologies, and establishment of a high school/university research and learning community. He launched FIU’s Learning Assistant Program in 2008 that grew into an institutional priority and now impacts over 12,000 student enrollments across all STEM departments each semester. These and other efforts led to establishing the STEM Transformation Institute that situates FIU as a STEM education laboratory for research, development and dissemination of inclusive models that will transform institutional educational practices in order to meet the national need for qualified STEM professionals.