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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An assessment of professional development for astronomy and physics faculty: Expanding our vision of how to support faculty's learning about teaching
by Olmstead, Alice Rose, Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, 2016, 350; 10159152
Abstract (Summary)

In this thesis, we will explore approaches to faculty instructional change in astronomy and physics. We primarily focus on professional development (PD) workshops, which are a central mechanism used within our community to help faculty improve their teaching. Although workshops serve a critical role for promoting more equitable instruction, we rarely assess them through careful consideration of how they engage faculty. To encourage a shift towards more reflective, research-informed PD, we developed the Real-Time Professional Development Observation Tool (R-PDOT), to document the form and focus of faculty's engagement during workshops. We then analyze video-recordings of faculty's interactions during the Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop, focusing on instances where faculty might engage in pedagogical sense-making. Finally, we consider insights gained from our own local, team-based effort to improve a course sequence for astronomy majors. We conclude with recommendations for PD leaders and researchers.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Turpen, Chandra A., Richardson, Derek C.
Commitee: Hayes-Gehrke, Melissa, Prather, Edward E., Redish, Edward F., Vogel, Stuart
School: University of Maryland, College Park
Department: Astronomy
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-B 78/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Astronomy
Keywords: Education research, Faculty professional development, Instructional change, Research-based teaching, Workshops
Publication Number: 10159152
ISBN: 978-1-369-14143-6
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