Facilitating Change

Facilitating Change

Pre-Conference Information


Preliminary Categorization of Literature on Promoting Change in Undergraduate STEM

Charles Henderson, Andrea Beach, Noah Finkelstein, R. Sam Larson

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This document represents a preliminary analysis of the research literature related to promoting change in STEM instructional practices in higher education.

Explaining Development and Change in Organizations

Andrew H. Van de Ven and Marshall Scott Poole, "Explaining Development and Change in Organizations," The Academy of Management Review 20 (3), 510-540 (1995).
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This article describes Dr. Van de Ven's influential framework of four basic theories of organizational change.

Facilitating Change in Undergraduate STEM: An Eclectic Collection of Annotated Resources

Maryellen Weimer
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This is an annotated bibliography that identifies resources most likely to be read by faculty and most likely to contribute positively toward efforts to change undergraduate education.

Overarching Problem Addressed by the Conference

While decades of research have identified effective programs and practices for improving STEM education, national models for sustaining and institutionalizing these programs and practices in higher education remain to be synthesized into coherent frameworks. Scholars in three primary fields have engaged in research on pedagogical change in STEM topics with the same goal: to improve student learning. Disciplinary-based STEM Education Researchers (SER) are typically situated in STEM-related departments, frequently in a college of arts and sciences, but sometimes in a college of engineering or as disciplinary STEM specialists in a college of education.  SER researchers are particularly interested in studying student learning within their discipline and developing discipline-specific curricular materials to improve this learning.  Faculty Development Researchers (FDR) are typically situated in centers for teaching and learning.  The mission of these centers is commonly to provide professional development for all faculty at an institution.  Therefore, FDR researchers often focus on providing faculty with more general pedagogical skills or motivation and tools for self-improvement.  Higher Education Researchers (HER) are typically situated in a departments of educational leadership in a college of education and, sometimes, in university administration.  HER researchers often study how cultural norms, organizational structures, and state and national environments and policy influence higher education practices.  In contrast to the other groups, HER frequently focus their research beyond individuals to the institutional or national level. Efforts in all areas, despite significant funding and study, have met with only modest success. Although the fields share an overriding goal, the research generated by each rarely “crosses over” to inform the others.



Mallinson Institute for Science Education
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 5444 USA
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