Applying Insights from Faculty Teaching Practices to Science and Math Education Reforms


Publication Date: January 2011

Publisher: Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE), University of Wisconsin-Madison


Research Area: Education

Keywords: Teaching and Learning; IHEs

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


Policymakers and educators are increasingly expressing concerns that the U.S. is lagging behind other countries in educating the next generation of mathematicians and scientists. In response, the federal government, private foundations, and many institutions of higher education (IHEs) are encouraging STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) instructors to adopt interactive, inquiry-based teaching methods in their classes, laboratories, and discussion sections.

However, a major challenge facing policymakers and educators engaged in pedagogical reform in math and science is to fully understand teaching practices in IHEs and how instructors experience their organizational environment in regards to their teaching responsibilities. An adequate accounting of these complex phenomena involves capturing many different aspects of teaching practice. This brief presents an approach that captures the nuances of teaching practice with the specific aim of providing actionable evidence for policymakers and practitioners.