The Faculty of Science’s initiative PEARLS (Promoters of Experiential and Active, Research-based Learning in Science) continued to promote scholarly science teaching this year with its Mobile Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching (MoSI).
PEARLS, a community of practice for active and experiential learning in science, hosted the week-long program to address challenges of STEM education reform, Aug. 15 to 19.
PEARLS director Chitra Rangan said, “Over the past two years, 20 MoSI participants have received intensive training in learning, effective assessment, backward design, and inclusive practices. We hope that in the future more faculty will participate in MoSIs so that we can further the culture of scientific teaching in science.”
Summer Institutes provide immersive training for faculty in learning, effective assessment, backward design, and inclusive practices.
“If student learning is never talked about, there’s probably a meta-message that it’s not important. Bringing it up reinforces the idea that we do value these things,” says Steven Rehse, head of the physics department.
“You have to assume not everyone knows what they’re doing and assume things are going well. Having spaces where we talk about our teaching a lot, especially with the younger faculty, is key.”
Summer Institutes provide instruction in peer evaluation for long-term reflective teaching while facilitating strategic planning to develop shared visions between administrators and participants.
“I was one of the facilitators last year for MoSI and I really enjoyed it,” says Erika Kustra, director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning and a faculty member in the Department of Psychology.
“It gives me a chance to talk about challenges that I have experienced personally working with others and things that need to be fixed or improved in the education system.”
Learn more about past PEARLS events on the group’s website.