CIRCLE has been selected by the Association of American Universities (AAU) as one of twelve AAU member institutions to receive a STEM Network mini-grant for $20,000 over two years. See the press release by clicking here. The grant is part of an Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative that focuses on improving STEM education through evidence-based teaching practices at member institutions’ campuses.
The proposal called “Expanding the CIRCLE: Growing a Community of Practice for Evidence-based STEM Instruction through Events and Social Media” focuses on increasing the visibility of the university’s current STEM education reform initiatives and expanding the community of practice around evidence-based strategies. Over the next two years, CIRCLE will strengthen WashU’s STEM education infrastructure and widen the audience through three different avenues.
First, the grant will provide funding for the CIRCLE Teaching Academy Speaker Series, which will bring in a nationally known speaker each semester with expertise in either pedagogy, discipline-based education research, psychology, or the learning sciences. Speakers will give a keynote presentation and meet with interested STEM faculty in small groups to spur innovation in their courses. This speaker series will debut in April 2019, with Dr. Judith Harackiewicz from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as our inaugural speaker.
The grant will also support the next CIRCLE conference in 2020; a multi-disciplinary meeting featuring psychological scientists, STEM discipline-based education researchers, and STEM practitioners. Details about the conference will be forthcoming in early 2020. The CIRCLE conference will complement the upcoming 2019 AAU STEM Education Network Conference.
Finally, the grant will allow CIRCLE to launch a blog series to serve as a resource for STEM practitioners to explore evidence-based practices and innovative approaches to use in the classroom. The blog will ideally spark interdisciplinary conversations by unpacking new literature and pedagogical advances. Combined together, these three grant components will provide continuous opportunities for faculty to engage in conversations about best education practices in STEM.