- Year 2018
- NSF Noyce Award # 1136412
- First Name David
- Last Name Erickson
- Discipline Math
Creagh Breuner, University of Montana, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kari Hinkle, University of Montana, email@example.com
David Erickson, University of Montana, firstname.lastname@example.org
Active Learning increases student success and engagement. Our Learning Assistant program helps introduce active learning strategies for faculty who are interested in increasing student learning successes as well as increases student interest in STEM and STEM teaching fields. Our project increases (a) faculty teaching success, (b) student learning/engagement, and (c) an increased number of STEM teachers.
Goals of our project include:
1. increasing the number of middle/high school mathematics and science teachers entering the profession prepared to teach effectively in rural and frontier areas;
2. improving the quality of education for Noyce scholars by instituting a summer field science workshop and an academic year pedagogy seminar;
3. improving the quality of education for both Noyce scholars and undergraduate students in targeted mathematics and science courses by using Noyce scholars as Learning Assistants (peer mentors using supportive teaching strategies); and
4. establishing a culture at University of Montana that engages faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates in the learning of mathematics and science content through research-based teaching.
The goals are being achieved through the Learning Assistant efforts which include (a) thirty recent graduates in STEM disciplines who teach mathematics and science in K-12, (b) faculty learning effective active learning techniques from and with Learning Assistants in weekly seminars, (c) undergraduates with these active learning strategies implementing them in both higher education and in the secondary schools, and (d) continued increasing interest in active learning by a wide variety of faculty including Wildlife Biology, Forestry, and Math/Sciences across the campus.
Key outcomes include (a) the continuing successful establishment of a culture on the University of Montana campus engaging faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates in the Learning Assistant model, (b) secondary teachers beginning to implement Learning Assistant programs within secondary mathematics and science classrooms, and (c) a commitment by colleges to continue the successes and efforts beyond the funding from the NSF Noyce LABT grant.
College, middle school and high school students have been impacted by serving as learning assistants and learners. Learners sometimes express an interest in continuing to study in a specific field because of the learning assistant in the classroom. The strategies to implement active learning increase engagement in learning as well as learning. We are sharing our results through publications and presentations locally, regionally, statewide, and nationally.