CIRCLE Conference e-Book Available Now

We are pleased to announce the release of Integrating Cognitive Science with Innovative Teaching in STEM Disciplines, an e-book available now on iTunes and on Amazon. The book focuses on innovations in higher education in a variety of STEM fields and features discussions of research by cognitive and learning scientists and discipline-based STEM education researchers who presented at the “Integrating Cognitive Science with Innovative Teaching in STEM Disciplines Conference,” on September 27-28, 2012 at Washington University in St. Louis.

With funding from the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the 2012 conference was hosted by CIRCLE, a WUSTL organization founded in 2011. Co-directed by Gina Frey (Florence E. Moog Professor of STEM Education and Executive Director of the Teaching Center) and Mark McDaniel (Professor of Psychology), CIRCLE was created to provide a bridge between Washington University faculty and researchers in the cognitive and learning sciences in order to facilitate collaborative projects that improve student learning.

The authors observe that the CIRCLE conference sparked discussions about STEM teaching that “typically do not occur” by bringing together researchers “with expertise in discipline-based education research from diverse STEM fields with researchers in cognitive science and educational psychology who study learning, memory, and reasoning.”

In their preface, the authors offer a glimpse of the rare mix of ideas seen in the CIRCLE conference and publication:

[This] collaboration…is unusual in two ways: First, cognitive science researchers, who conduct laboratory research in order to derive general principles of effective instruction and student learning, rarely have opportunities to exchange knowledge with discipline-based STEM-education researchers, who develop, implement, and evaluate curricular innovations in the classroom. Second, the conference brought together in conversation faculty from different STEM disciplines and institutions who rarely have occasions to discuss curricular challenges and innovations with colleagues from outside their fields.

In publishing the book, the authors hope to extend the conversation beyond the conference and “hope the volume will stimulate conversation about how to merge the science of learning with the science we want students to learn.”

The James S. McDonnell Foundation provided funding for the production of the book. Integrating Cognitive Science with Innovative Teaching in STEM Disciplines is the first digital book to be published by the Washington University Libraries.

To access the e-book, please see this link to the Washington Universities Open Scholarship site.

The cost for a copy from Amazon and iTunes is 99 cents, and pdf versions will be available in the future. If you don’t have a tablet and would like to view the book on your laptop or desktop, you can download any of the following software programs: Amazon’s Kindle application for your desktop; Calibre e-book management; Adobe Digital Editions software.

The cross-disciplinary conversation begun at the CIRCLE conference in 2012 continues to grow. We just held a well-attended second conference at Washington University on September 11-12, 2014. Northwestern University has offered to host a similar event in 2015.