Story posted June 12, 2012
Earth and Oceanographic Science Professor Rachel Beane is the lead convener for a national workshop for early career geoscience faculty held June 10-15, 2012 at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. The 50 participants in the workshop are geoscience faculty in their first four years of teaching. During the first four days of the workshop, faculty participate in sessions addressing a variety of topics including effective teaching strategies, course design, developing a research program, working with research students, balancing professional and personal responsibilities, and making strategic choices. The final day of the workshop is an optional visit to the National Science Foundation to meet with program directors. The full workshop program is at:
Professor Beane participated in the workshop herself in 1999, and has co-lead the workshop three previous summers. Two Bowdoin alums who are now geoscience faculty previously participated in this workshop: Adrienne Oakley '01 now teaching at Kutztown University, and Lindsay Szramek '02 now teaching at Austin Peak State Unversity. This year's workshop co-leaders are Heather Macdonald, College of William and Mary; Richelle Allen-King, University of Buffalo - SUNY; Richard Yuretich, University of Massachusetts - Amherst; Andrew Goodlife, University of Alabama; Karen Kortz, Community College of Rhode Island; Susan Lozier, Duke University; and Robert Rhew, University of California - Berkeley.
Previous participants have gained much from the workshop:
"Meeting other faculty in my position did a lot to relieve the stress of feeling that one is all by oneself in struggling with teaching and research. Personal discussions with the leaders were very helpful. And of course, the binder full of ideas is gold."
"The workshop totally changed my view of teaching from teacher-oriented to student-oriented. It's no more what I want to teach but what students need to learn or take away from the course. This is the essential point that I will keep in mind when I design course goals, syllabi, in-class activities, assignments, and exams."
"This workshop met and exceeded all goals. It is a well-oiled machine and every [new] faculty member should have to come to this. I just wish I could revisit it in a couple of years. But I will be sure to go to other Cutting Edge workshops."
This Workshop for Early Career Geoscience Faculty is part of the On the Cutting Edge program. On the Cutting Edge is a professional development program that aims to improve the quality of undergraduate geoscience education through an integrated series of workshops and web-based resources. The program is sponsored by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Professor Beane is co-PI for the On the Cutting Edge project along with Heather Macdonald, College of William and Mary; Cathy Manduca, Carleton College; David McConnell, North Carolina State University; David Mogk, Montana State University; Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College; Katryn Wiese, City College of San Francisco; and Michael Wysession, Washington University. Links to On the Cutting Edge resources that would be of interest to STEM educators in a range of fields are at: http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/STEMresources.html.