For the second consecutive year in a row the Mobile Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching, an institute-based version of the nationally renowned Summer Institutes, was successfully hosted at the University of North Texas. The mobile institute is based on higher education strategies developed by Charles Henderson, a physics professor and the Director of the Mallinson Institute for Science Education in Michigan. The highly collaborative educational experience combines workshops, group discussions, and presentations to improve scientific teaching approaches in the classroom and in the lab.
Twenty-two participants attended the mobile event by Dr. Lee Hughes and Dr. Mark Burleson of the COS Department of Biological Sciences from May 14-18, including faculty and graduate students from both UNT and TWU. The focus of this year's workshop was to equip educators to create inclusive, student-centered classrooms that engage learning through active problem solving and discussion, much like scientists do.
The institute is beneficial to both mathematics and science instructors, as it goes beyond "teaching science better" and instructs the use of data to scientifically study pedagogical methods across STEM disciplines. All participants of the Mobile Summer Institute this year were encouraged to be more reflective about their teaching practices and developed original, innovative classroom materials that are ready to be implemented in their classrooms in the fall. We hope to see continued participation by College of Science educators in the coming years!