Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM
CHANGING THE TEACHING CULTURE IN A LARGE RESEARCH ORIENTED DEPARTMENT
The Earth and Ocean Science Science Education Initiative (EOS-SEI) is a seven year project aimed at dramatically improving undergraduate science education throughout the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science (EOAS) at the University of British Columbia. The project is in its final year, yet it is already being quoted as a model for transformative change at the department level. What do these changes look like and what has contributed to the success? So far, three quarters of the faculty and half the sessional instructors have worked with our discipline based education specialists to shift towards habitual use of a wide range of research based instructional strategies (RBIS). Significant factors contributing to such changes include: the style of leadership at faculty, department, and project levels; the use of discipline-based education specialists within the department who work closely with teaching faculty; excellent support and training for these specialists; inclusion of graduate student energy and enthusiasm; focused course transformation projects involving many faculty; teaching buyouts for faculty involved in course transformations; and an emerging consulting model that builds on the first four years of experiences. The project leaders and education specialists are also developing as discipline based education researchers, with nine peer reviewed research articles published, in press, or in preparation, several education-oriented undergraduate theses, and numerous presentations and workshops contributed around the world. This work will discuss these and other characteristics of changes to undergraduate science education in EOAS, and factors contributing to those changes.