dB-SERC lunch discussion
Topic: Learner-Centered Pedagogies and the Big Picture of “Evidence-Based” Educational Practices
When: Friday, April 5 from 1 - 2 pm [NOTE: DIFFERENT DAY, DIFFERENT TIME]
Where: LRDC 9th Floor

During the lunch discussion, Dr. Gabriela Weaver from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, will discuss evidence-based approaches to education, and the evidence supporting their adoption.

An increasing number of publications focused on higher education STEM teaching – ranging from scholarly articles in journals such as Science and Change to reports from the Board on Science Education of the National Academy of Science – have begun to reference the idea of evidence-based instructional practices (or evidence-based educational practices), often shorthanded as EBIPs/EBEPs. A theme that runs through most, if not all, of these educational practices is that learners are cognitively engaged in developing their understanding of the content, in a way that is not present in a traditional lecture approach. These learner-centered pedagogies come in a variety of forms and are not immune to failing if they are implemented incorrectly. In this presentation, some of the evidence base for these pedagogies and examples of EBEPs will be described.

Dr. Gabriela Weaver serves as Special Assistant to the Provost for Educational Initiatives and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Previously, her role was Vice Provost for Faculty Development, and Director of the Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development (TEFD). Prior to coming to UMass, she served as professor of chemistry and science education and later as the Jerry and Rosie Semler Director of the Discovery Learning Research Center at Purdue University. In 2012, she was elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions to transforming science education at the undergraduate level. She has been a co-author on two chemistry textbooks, and the 2015 book Transforming Institutions: Undergraduate STEM Education for the 21st Century, as well as author of numerous scholarly articles and book chapters. From 2004-2012, she served as director of the NSF-funded multi-institutional CASPiE project (Center for Authentic Science Practice in Education) dedicated to involving first- and second-year undergraduate students in research experiences. Her research interests include educational practices that increase student success and the institutionalization of such practices through the transformation of cultures and processes in higher education. She earned a B.S. degree in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
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