- Year 2017
- NSF Noyce Award # 1240010
- First Name Nicola
- Last Name Edwards
- Discipline Other: Math and Science
Nirmaljit Rathee, Delaware State University, email@example.com; Sabrina McGary, Delaware State University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Cherese Winstead, Delaware State University, email@example.com; Tomasz Smolinski; Delaware State University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicola Edwards, Delaware State University, email@example.com; Nirmaljit Rathee, Delaware State University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Melissa Demetrikopolulos, Institute for Biomedical Philosophy, email@example.com
Problem-based learning helps teachers improve their teaching practices based on the act of reflection and the use of data active learning modules. Many of our Noyce Scholars have minimal experiences with teaching. They often view teaching in very traditional forms that include extensive lecturing and practice. This is evident when Scholars submit lesson plans with minimal cognitive demand. The purpose of this new initiative is for scholars to explore, debate, practice and reflect on best teaching practices for their discipline. Noyce Scholars benefit from the problem-based learning model because it exposes them to alternative teaching practices that encourages the learner to develop their own reasoning skills, rather than solely relying on the reasoning of the teacher.
The goal of the Problem-based learning initiative is to 1) expose Noyce Scholars to alternative teaching practices that encourage students to become critical thinkers, and 2) to help Scholars create tasks that improve the quality and level of the cognitive demand for student engagement. Noyce Scholars developed PBLs based on their STEM content area expertise. Noyce Scholars who were in-service teachers implemented their PBL activities in their classrooms and presented a video analysis of their results during Saturday Roundtables.
Noyce Scholars were tasked with expanding their research from the prior year. Each month, they collaborated with the Mentor Teachers and peers to design Problem-based Learning activities in their field of study to expand their teaching portfolio with several PBL activities. They obtained feedback during Saturday Roundtables from their peers, mentor teacher, and program faculty to improve the quality and cognitive demand of their PBL activity.
Scholar developed, and in some cases implemented, a PBL activity in their in-service classroom. The Scholars that will begin teaching next year will have a portfolio of PBLs that they can implement in their future classrooms.
The broader impact of this initiative is to create highly qualified minority teachers that are extensively knowledgeable in both content and pedagogy. As a result, our graduates will then train the next generations of mathematicians, scientists, and science-savvy citizens from high-needs school districts to be critical thinkers and content knowledgeable as well.