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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  2. In answer to calls for research about professional change, this study addressed the question: What is involved in college science faculty readiness for change in instructional practice? The setting was a professional development experience in oceanography/marine science and paleoclimatology among 32 faculty from 2- and 4-year colleges. Ten of the 32 participated in interviews, and all provided survey responses and documents used in the study. Cycles of inductive analysis generated three example case stories to illustrate a new model for exploring faculty readiness for change in teaching. The model blends results from the health sciences on readiness for behavioral change with research on the personal, external, professional, and consequence domains of a professional change environment. The blended model attends to how an instructor draws on the domains to (a) see an instructional challenge as requiring intentional action to be resolved; (b) notice new significance (for the instructor) in some aspect of instructional practice; (c) feel able to manage instructional stressors/challenges; (d) have commitment to initiate/sustain change; and (e) perceive adequate support in undertaking change. Profiles of instructional readiness for change are represented by composite cases named Lee, Pat, and Chris. In the case of Lee, factor (c) drove change efforts;more »for Pat, factors (a) and (b) were in the forefront; and for Chris it was factors (d) and (e). The three cases are valuable both as sketches of the blended model in use and as touchstones for future research and development related to postsecondary faculty professional learning.« less
  3. The construct of active learning permeates undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), but despite its prevalence, the construct means different things to different people, groups, and STEM domains. To better understand active learning, we constructed this review through an innovative interdisciplinary collaboration involving research teams from psychology and discipline-based education research (DBER). Our collaboration examined active learning from two different perspectives (i.e., psychology and DBER) and surveyed the current landscape of undergraduate STEM instructional practices related to the modes of active learning and traditional lecture. On that basis, we concluded that active learning—which is commonly used to communicate an alternative to lecture and does serve a purpose in higher education classroom practice—is an umbrella term that is not particularly useful in advancing research on learning. To clarify, we synthesized a working definition of active learning that operates within an elaborative framework, which we call the construction-of-understanding ecosystem. A cornerstone of this framework is that undergraduate learners should be active agents during instruction and that the social construction of meaning plays an important role for many learners, above and beyond their individual cognitive construction of knowledge. Our proposed framework offers a coherent and actionable concept of active learningmore »with the aim of advancing future research and practice in undergraduate STEM education.« less